UITP Climate Leader Declaration: Public Transport Modernization Project in Belgrade, Serbia

Context of Transport Climate Action

At the UN Climate Summit in 2014, UITP launched its Declaration on Climate Leadership, which stated the sector’s intention to double the market share of public transport by 2025, and their commitment to support cities to enhance, accelerate and ensure the efficiency of urban mobility, as well as, to intensify their efforts to prepare for and adapt to climate change.

Over 350 pledges to future action were made from more than 110 public transport organisations in support of the Declaration.  These future actions are aimed at giving a greater role to public transport in mobility terms, which will help to decrease different regions’ carbon footprint as well as reducing their corporate carbon footprint.

As part of Belgrade’s climate commitment, the city of Belgrade has recognized the importance of investing in the development, improvement and modernization of public transport to support sustainable urban development and improve mobility for public transport users. Starting in 2009 a series of transport activities and systematic development planning was launched; these plans included fleet renewal, the reconstruction of existing and the building of new infrastructure and the application of modern technologies for fare collection and fleet management. These steps were taken to achieve the desired level of quality of public transport servicing all social categories, especially people with disabilities.


The Belgrade public transport operator, GSP Belgrade, demonstrated its commitment to lead on climate action in support of the UITP Declaration by pledging its future Action Plan for the city that would further transform the city’s network and deliver a range of benefits. The plan pledges:

  • To increase the market share of passenger public transport in the city of Belgrade from 50% to 60% by 2025.
  • The provision of transport services that uses more environmentally clean transport modes, and optimizes the economic efficiency of the transport system.
  • To provide mass training of bus drivers in eco-driving (to be conducted in the period 2014-2015) with the objective of reducing the consumption of fuel. It is expected that fuel consumption, and therefore CO2 emissions, would be reduced by 2,912 tonnes annually.
  • To pilot test one E-bus, which would be conducted on a typical urban line during 2015. The impact of this in terms of reducing CO2 emissions is expected to be up to 118 tonnes annually.
  • To renew the city’s bus fleet within the period 2015-2018, with the expected annual reduction of 6,366 tonnes of CO2

Primary activities were aimed at improving the electrical subsystems for trams and trolleybuses. The city’s specific requirement for the transport of people with disabilities set defined standards for the procurement of vehicles and infrastructure planning, and these standards were also considered necessary to contribute to a better quality of life for this category of users. Taking this into account, the city purchased new vehicles complying with these standards (more energy-efficient, with higher capacity and air conditioning, and equipped with a ramp for independent entry / exit of people in wheelchairs).

30 trams were purchased by the end of 2012, in accordance with the defined standards and the planned renewal of tram subsystems. 83 new trolleys, equipped with asynchronous engines and mechanical ramps for the disabled, were also procured to renew the trolleybus fleet. A total of 99 new trolleys have now been delivered, and the trolleybus fleet is now fully renewed.


In order to achieve the desired level of public transport service quality, the city introduced new technologies and established a reliable information base upon to help optimize decisions for planning the traffic network and tariff system. The City of Belgrade has now started implementing its fare collection and real-time fleet management systems, based on modern technology, providing a new tool for public transport revenue and vehicle management.

The new ticketing system is based on RFID[1] technology with contactless smart cards for payment. This enables better control, acquisition and revenue management; it also provides the opportunity to introduce a wide range of tickets, in accordance with real needs, and the possibility of using the same card for other services outside of public transport. New technologies employed include automatic vehicle location using GPS (Global Positioning System) and GPRS technology (General Packet Radio Service with G3 mobile data); these technologies offer better control of network operations and income distribution to the operators themselves. These new technologies will also help to ensure the public transport service satisfies transport requirements and demand.

[1] RFID – Radio-frequency identification


  • CO2 reduction from a more energy- efficient fleet
  • Social benefits from the procurement of more accessible vehicles for the disabled, following standards which will benefit all members of society
  • A new and more flexible fare collection system which will also ensure that public transport responds to local needs and will contribute to attaining the ambitious goal of increasing market share of public transport by 2025
  • Strengthening the economic viability of the system

Potential for scaling up

Belgrade city policy on public transport is reflected in its continued investment in the development of its transport system, in its procurement of new vehicles and the use of innovative, modern technologies. Improving the electrical subsystem is one of Belgrade’s major sustainable urban-mobility solutions to the problems of capacity and negative impacts on environment. Investment in new energy-efficient vehicles, with greater capacity, air-conditioning and ramps for people with disabilities, combined with added improved coordination and adjustment of time tables, means that reliable, accessible and fast city transport is now assured. Modern technologies allow intermodality and the same e-card (smart card) can now be used to pay for different services. This simplifies the use of the whole system, and with the provision of a wide range of tickets, it extends public transport’s availability to a wider range of users. With timely and accurate transport information, users have a positive personal transport experience, which has an effect on increasing their mobility and creating a better image of the city altogether. Implementing such a programme and identifying what works best will reveal the potential for scaling up and winning people over to public transport.

Selected references




Belgrade, Serbia






Serbia, Mitigation, Passenger, Policy, Partnerhsips


Municipality of Belgrade (authority) and GSP Belgrade


Artur PERCHEL Manager Central Eastern Europe E-mail : artur.perchel@uitp.org