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Bulgaria allocates over EUR 15 million to save bus and coach sector
Europe | Sofia

Bulgaria allocates over EUR 15 million to save bus and coach sector

13 Oct 2020 · Prosperity

The Bulgarian government has announced a financial support scheme valued at BGN 30 million (EUR 15.4 million) for bus and coach operators to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.

The pandemic has had a devastating effect on commercial passenger road transport in Bulgaria, with IRU’s Impact Report estimating turnover losses of 92%. The grants available to small and medium-sized businesses will therefore be essential to prevent job losses and bankruptcies. According to the Bulgarian Transport Minister, around 1,500 companies will receive funding ranging from EUR 1,500 to 230,000.

“We expect the eligibility criteria for the grants to be published next week. We hope that access to this funding will be quick and easy for all bus and coach companies, helping them to continue operating during the ongoing crisis.”

Georgi Petarneychev
Chairman of Bulgarian IRU member AEBTRI

This follows the support measures announced during the summer, which are expected to save around 22,000 jobs. In addition to providing part of the salary, social security contribution and tax relief, they incentivise bus and coach companies to retain jobs.

Financial support from governments is vital to ensure transport operators survive the pandemic. The Bulgarian government is one of the few to have responded to IRU’s calls for targeted financial measures for road transport. IRU will release its COVID-19 Impact Report, setting out the concrete measures that governments should take to prevent mass insolvencies in the sector.