Krakow seeks EU funds for metro line
PR dla Zagranicy
Krakow authorities have applied to the Ministry of Infrastructure in a bid to secure EU funds for the city's first metro line.
The city hopes to be able to secure about 5 billion zloty (1.18 billion euros) from EU cohesion funds allocated to Poland for the years 2014-2020.
“We expect to hear an answer [from the ministry] this year as to whether we can count on their support,” Deputy Mayor Tadeusz Trzmiel told the Dziennik Polski newspaper.
The 17 km east-west line would run from the industrial Nowa Huta district, through the city's main railway station and on to the Bronowice district, with 8 km of the route running under ground.
The entire line could cost about 11 billion zloty (2.6 billion euros).
With the city currently trying combat its dire air quality (Krakow was found to have the third most polluted air in Europe in a recent survey by the EEA), authorities have argued that the metro will encourage locals to use cars less.
The project follows a ban on the burning of coal in domestic stoves in November 2013.
The city has stated that it would like to have the metro up and running by 2022, as Krakow is hoping to host the Winter Olympics that year.
Stanislaw Albricht, who conceived the project, ultimately envisages a three-line metro. He says that the city has already found a firm that is interested in co-financing the project, but he has declined to disclose the company's identity.
“The one and only chance of creating a metro in Krakow lies in making use of EU funds in the immediate future, together with a public-private partnership,” he said. (nh)