The European Commission has decided on 19 July not to raise any objections to the € 4.6 million aid which the Dutch Province of Gelderland plans to allocate to initiatives which explore new ways for protecting the environment and making public transport more efficient and more appealing to the users.
The Dutch Province of Gelderland has notified to the Commission a draft Regulation that aims at improving environmental protection in public transport and at stimulating innovation in public transport.
The Dutch province of Gelderland has realised that the current licence holders of public transport services often under-invest with respect to the environmental protection and innovation in public transport. This has led the province to design a new scheme for innovation and environmental protection in public transport.
The scheme aims at stimulating creativity of all stakeholders involved. It provides funding opportunities for both technical innovation and innovative services. All stakeholders, be they research institutions, NGOs, companies, or public administrations can apply for the grants.
There are three programme lines:
- Technical innovation in public transport
- Innovation in Communication
- Innovation in environmental protection
The Dutch authorities have identified a market failure in this respect. Indeed, their experience shows that the holders of concessions under-invest into environmental protection and innovation, as they fear that they might lose their concession in the next round of public tenders, prior to being able to reap the benefits of their investments.
The Province has identified a special programme for innovation in public transport as the appropriate tool to remedy this market failure.