The successful promotion of the ministry for climate protection’s (BMK) cycling campaign will be continued this year. It means more possibilities for subsidies for municipalities, businesses and associations for measures supporting active mobility. The regional government in Vorarlberg actively took up this offer and created a subsidy package worth 62 million euros. One of its implementations is prepared by the Cycle Competence members Planoptimo and Rosinak & Partner.
The subsidy campaign is already displaying success: The projects approved in 2020 already triggered 69 million euro in climate-protection investments. 2021 will see a continuation of the focus of the subisidies by Cycle Competence member BMK on the field of cycle traffic and climate-friendly mobility management amounting to 40 million euros. The focus will again be placed on promoting active mobility and in particular cycle traffic (cycling infrastructure, bicycle sharing systems, bicycle parking, information systems etc) as well as on expanding bike lanes.
Additionally, climate-friendly alternatives in the mobility sector, especially on a municipal, regional as well as company and tourist level will be subsidies. Among it are bicycle parking facilities, company fleet conversions for job bikes and bicycle sharing systems as well as signposts. Information campaigns to raise awareness (e.g. job tickets or cycling campaigns) are subsidised. With a subsidy level of up to 50% high-ranking cycling highways in regions with high potential are supported in local plannings for longer distances, e.g. on e-bikes. The subsidies can also be combined with funding from the municipal investment law as well as the investment premium.
“As we are only at the beginning of the year, the funding pot is still full to the brim. Companies, associations, municipalities, provinces and cities can now seize the opportunity to file climate-friendly projects also supporting the local economy and contributing to climate-protection”, said federal minister Leonore Gewessler. The BMK is offering free advice on subsidies as part of the klimaaktiv mobil programme via Cycle Competence members komobile (municipalities) and Herry Consult (companies). Subsidy applications can be filed on www.umweltfoerderung.at.
Higher subsidies for (e-)cargo bikes and e-bikes
Together with the Austrian sports retail trade the BMK is supporting the purchase of e-bikes, e-cargo bikes and cargo bikes with an increased e-mobility bonus. Two subsidy campaigns were created for this: The campaign “E-mobility for private individuals” is subsidising the purchase of e-cargo bikes and cargo bikes without electronic motors with 1000 euros (850 euros come from the climate- and energy fund, 150 Euros from the sports retail industry). The campaign “E-mobility for companies, regional authorities and associations” supports the purchase of e-bikes (from 5 e-bikes upwards) with 400 euros. Additionally, the VAT for bicycle repair services was lowered from 20% to 10% at the start of the year. Further, for the first time this year the subsidy campaign includes a comprehensive check-up of the e-bike or (e-)cargo bike.
New climate package in Germany
The German federal government also passed a subsidy programme for cycling and pedestrian infrastructure in January 2021: The German federal ministry for traffic and digital infrastructure (BMVI) will provide a total of 1.46 billion euros for cycling traffic until 2023. Of this, 170 million will be spent on cycling highways, 46 million for touristic cycling networks and 126 million for model projects in cycle traffic. The biggest share goes to the special programme “City and Country” with 660 million euros. This enables provinces and municipalities for the first time to get federal subsidies issued by the BMVI for local cycling infrastructure projects. The measures taken by provinces and municipalities are subsidised by up to 75%. Municipalities with weak finances or in structurally weak regions can even get a 90% funding of the costs eligible for subsidies.
Province of Vorarlberg gets into subsidies big time
The provincial government of Vorarlberg has major plans: Over the next five years it wants to invest 62 million euros (including federal subsidies) in expanding bike lanes in the province. On 8 February, environmental minister Leonore Gewessler, provincial head Markus Wallner and mobility province councillor Joannes Rauch signed an agreement for a federal-provincial-partnership on expanding cycle traffic. The 62 million euros are to be put into several infrastructure projects between 2022 and 2027.
“We will now file specific projects. It is very fortunate that the federal government has offered to take on up to 50% of the net funding for lead cycling projects in the provinces,” said provincial head Markus Wallner (ÖVP).
Provincial councillor Rauch and federal minister Gewessler after signing the agreement
With the funding budget also three cycling highways are to be implemented. These are cycling highways without intersections with a minimum width of four meters. The projects also include the first cycling tunnel in Götzis as well as a cycling route through the “Ried” between Lustenau and Dornbirn. In the planning of this new cycling route Cycle Competence members Rosinak & Partner and Planoptimo are involved. They have been accompanying the process since 2017. The route will be built to be used by upt ot 160.000 people. According to the planners’ calculations it will cost around 21.4 million euros, with the federal government taking on half of that. A particular challenge is the fact that the routes are partly going through the Natura2000 and other environmentally protected areas. Further, interests of the water sector, agriculture and hunters have to be taken into consideration.
Photos: BMK, Land Vorarlberg, Fürthner / Mobilitätsagentur Wien