Basel Trams for Sofia

Projekt abgeschlossen
Two men stand next to elevated tram in factory.
Twenty-eight old trams in Sofia have been replaced by trams from Basel. © SECO

To improve the public transport system of Sofia, Switzerland will finance the donation of up to 28 used but modernized trams, the training of the personnel responsible for operation and maintenance of the trams as well as a multi-modal mobility study.


Land/Region Thema Periode Budget
Umwelt schützen
Öffentlicher Verkehr
15.10.2015 - 30.06.2019
CHF  2’550’000

Note: the texts under all the headings, with the exception of 'Results achieved', describe the situation before the start of the project.


The Bulgarian capital Sofia is increasingly suffering of traffic congestion and needs an improved public transportation system, which is partially addressed by building a new metro system. The municipality of Sofia recognizes the value of keeping the existing tram network in operation, but lacks the resources to finance urgently needed infrastructure improvements (notably the replacement of aging trams). Basler Verkehrs-Betriebe (BVB) is disposing of 28 relatively recent and modernized tram railcars that correspond to what Sofia Elektrotransport (S.E.T.) needs for the urgent replacement of aging Bulgarian built trams.


The goal of the project is an increased use of the public transport system in Sofia leading to less traffic jams, reduced greenhouse gas emission and improved air quality. The reliability, accessability, comfort and capacity of the trams will be improved. A multi-modal mobility study shall address and possibly trigger the integration of the public transportation system in Sofia (metro, trams and buses).


The direct beneficiaries are the municipality and the public transportation company of Sofia (S.E.T.). The indirect beneficiaries are the 1.3 million inhabitants of Sofia, especially people with low incomes, families, elderly and disabled persons.

  • Purchase of up to 28 used Be 4/6 S trams from BVB.
  • Transport of the trams from Basel to Sofia including charging and discharging on railway cars.
  • Purchase of necessary spare parts and workshop equipment.
  • Training of S.E.T. personnel to handle operation and maintenance (including revisions).
  • Multi-modal mobility study and measures to implement its recommendations in order to improve the public transportation services in Sofia.

Erreichte Resultate:  

  • Up to 28 used but modernized trams from BVB delivered and put in service in Sofia.  The trams operate on three tramlines. S.E.T. is prepared for the operation and maintenance of the trams through a workshop and spare part supply concept
  • A “Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan” for the city of Sofia was elaborated and adopted. This strategic document sets the main directions for a sustainable mobility development in Sofia.

Verantwortliche Direktion/Bundesamt SECO
Kreditbereich Schweizer Beitrag an die erweiterte EU
Projektpartner Vertragspartner
  • Bulgarian Monitoring of EU Funds Directorate, Sofia Elektrotransport (S.E.T.) and the Municipality of Sofia

Sofia Elektrotransport (S.E.T.) and the Municipality of Sofia

Budget Laufende Phase Schweizer Beitrag CHF    2’550’000 Bereits ausgegebenes Schweizer Budget CHF    2’507’577

Phase 10 15.10.2015 - 30.06.2019   (Completed)