Save the Tram

Sofia Municipality had plans to remove the tram tracks from Gen. Skobelev blvd to Lozenets neighbourhood – a section of the route of tram line 6. Thus, the citizens in this part of Sofia would have had less alternatives for transport and the excuse from the local government was “They will use the nearest metro station”. Namely the metro is the main reason for removing or shrinking the ground public transport in the city while in the rest of Europe the trends are on the contrary – the more subway, the denser public transport network on the ground.

In the last 10 years exactly 9,88 km tram lines have been removed permanently from our city reducing the extent of the most ecological means of transport on the ground. The removal of 2,20 km more with the Tram 6 case would worsen even more the dismal situation with too many cars in Sofia, ill-governed public transport and the most polluted air in a EU capital city. That´s why we started an initiative to save the tram track in times when all European capitals were extending their tram networks and Sofia was reducing it severely spending more than 3 500 000 EUR on this. First, we informed our fellow citizens for the municipality plans as they were not dispersed to the whole population. Then, we took a firm position against the track removal and exposed our arguments on our website, in Facebook and on several media.

The main event was a flashmob protest which gathered nearly 200 people and was the culmination of collecting support for the Save the Tram petition. It consisted of more than 4000 signatures presented to the City Council and resulted in preserving the tram line to Lozenets. In August 2016 Sofia mayor confirmed to us personally that she has “listened to the voice of the citizens” and the tramline section will not be removed as originally planned.