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Brussels, 10 March 2009

Commission approves Czech aid scheme supporting renewal of public transport services

Today, the European Commission approved a Czech aid scheme benefiting transport undertakings that carry out public services in the regions of Jihovýchod, Jihozápad, Moravskoslezsko, Severozápad, Severovýchod, Střední Čechy and Střední Morava. The State aid scheme aims at facilitating the acquisition and modernisation of buses, trams, trolleybuses, rail rolling stock and other vehicles in the Czech Republic.

From 2009 to 2014, the aid scheme will help enhance integrated passenger transport systems in Czech cohesion regions (NUTS II). Modernisation will cover the installation of information and ticketing systems, addressing access to people with reduced mobility as well as technical evaluations to meet the latest emission standards.

Granting of such aid for transport services in remote areas shall facilitate the combined use of different modes of transport (i.e. tram, train, bus) for commuters.

By making public transport more attractive than the use of individual transport means (such as private cars) the Czech authorities expect positive environmental effects especially regarding the decrease of road traffic emissions, fuel and energy savings, noise reduction and increased traffic safety.

The Commission considers the notified scheme to be compatible with the common market under Article 73 of the EC Treaty.

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