For the first time this year, three major subsidy tracks by the Austrian federal government have been made available to municipalities for cycling traffic projects making it possible to combine them to achieve up to 100% funding level for cycling highways! We are providing a transparent overview of the subsidy tools. Investments in a change in mobility are paying off!
Apart from the three federal subsidies there is a number of subsidies from the provinces – too many to list here. Additionally, there is the “ELER” subsidy track by the EU to strengthen rural areas. This EU-subsidy is distributed via the klimaaktiv mobil cycle traffic subsidy to municipalities with fewer than 30.000 inhabitants. We have summarised this subsidy landscape on a few pages for your municipality or company in this guideline (in German):
Cycling subsidies for municipalities
In 2020, the Federal Ministry for Climate Protection (BMK) invests over €40m in the expansion and improvement of cycling traffic as well as climate-friendly mobility management in Austria. This is achieved via the programme “Klimaaktiv mobil – Mobilitätsmanagement und Radverkehr”. The same amount was also already secured for 2021.
Basically it is a 20% funding for costs of cycle traffic projects (which fall under the subsidy criteria). Additionally, subsidy bonuses of up to another 10% on eligible costs are possible. This brings it up to 30% subsidisation. Special terms apply to cycling highways. Investments for these high-quality cycle paths are subsidised at up to 50% (of the net costs). These investments comprise the costs for building and planning.
Within the klimaaktiv programme The BMK prioritises cycling infrastructure projects according to their environmental and health effect: In this category the threefold value of €1,800 per saved tonne of CO2 is applied as well as a health effect of €6 per avoided car kilometer.
To support municipalities in their investments during COVID-19 the federal government has drawn up a municipal package. This is a one-million-euro federal law to support municipal investments in 2020 which came into effect on 1 July this year. Municipalities can obtain up to 50% in subsidies for creation, renovation and upkeep of cycle traffic and pedestrian paths. Together this could amounts to the 100% full subsidy effect of net costs mentioned earlier.
Special case cycling highways: the criteria
For a subsidy the cycling highway has to have the following qualities according to klimaaktiv criteria:
- at least 5km long and part of the planning documents of the province
- impact assessment with a potential of at least 2000 cyclists per 24 hours
- direct routing mostly without diversions and gradients
- Crossings at the same level as car traffic or giving cyclists the right of way at same-level crossings
- Minimum width of the traffic area of 4 metres (2-way cycle path) or 2 metres (one-way cycle path)
- Safe trafficability also at high speeds (projected speed 30 km/h)
- Bend radiuses of at least 20 metres (projected speed 30 km/h) or 8 metres at intersections (projected speed 20 km/h)
- Max. 6% gradient
- protective strips as partition to the car lane on cycle paths running along the street
- parking strips are not permitted alongside cycling lanes of cycle highways
- high surface quality (asphalt or concrete)
- marking of margin lines
- pedestrian walkways running alongside have to be separated structurally or via tactile barriers
Cycling subsidies for companies
The klimaaktiv subsidies also aims at companies also with up to 30% subsidy level. Additionally there is the aws investment premium for companies. This premium refunds 7% of the investment costs. Investments into environmentally friendly mobility solutions are funded at up to 14%. The subsidy is available for companies of all sizes.
In the field of greening, 14% of costs for the acquisition of new e-bikes and new bicycles as well as for investments for promoting cycle traffic and active mobility can be refunded. The latter can include: cycle paths, bicycle parking, e-charging station on company grounds, signposting and information systems, traffic guidance systems and floor signalling, permanent counting stations and implementing a bicycle rental.
This overview cannot present all details of the subsidy system and is only a snapshot. Up-to-date information is available from the funding information centres mentioned above.