The municipality of Bulgarian capital Sofia signed a high-profile EUR 31 M deal on the EU's Regional Development operational programme for boosting its public transportation network Tuesday.
The contract, concluded between Sofia Mayor Yordanka Fandakova and Bulgarian Minister of Regional Development Rosen Plevneliev, was signed precisely two months before municipal elections October 23.
Yordanka Fandakova is set to run for a re-election as the candidate of the center-right GERB party ruling Bulgaria since general elections in the summer of 2009.
Rosen Plevneliev is speculated to be the most likely figure to fill the yet mysterious GERB nomination for Bulgaria's president.
The funds on the projects will be used for buying 50 new trolleybuses, repair works on 20 key Sofia intersections, the installation of 20 "smart" traffic lights, as well as the creation of a tram line from Sofia's Seminary to the Student Town.
On an aside, such a line already exists, having been used in the past, but falling into oblivion and disrepair since the expansion of Sofia's yet only metro line.
The real work on the project is set to start in 2012 and the deadline for completion is 2013.
The project includes also a number of smaller improvements, such as the installation of electronic devices showing the time to the next bus at 600 bus stops across the city. (Source: Sofia News Agency)