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Bucharest City Mayor Firea, Madrid counterpart Castrillo set up working groups on urban mobility, tourism

Bucharest General Mayor Gabriela Firea and Madrid Mayor Manuela Carmena Castrillo on Wednesday agreed on creating joint working groups for the development of urban mobility, smart city, and tourism projects, according to a press statement released by the Bucharest City Hall (PMB) on Thursday.

At the meeting, which took place at PMB, the two officials decided that a group of Madrid experts will come to Bucharest soon to start, jointly with PMB specialists, concrete projects in two of the areas mentioned in a memorandum signed recently in the capital of Spain: streamlining traffic and tourism.

“I hope that we will form as soon as possible joint working groups together with Madrid specialists to discuss the most important areas of Bucharest’s development, especially road traffic, which is a problem with the capital of Romania, which we work hard to resolve. We have approved a mobility plan, bought 400 new Euro 6 buses, we will buy 100 electric buses, 100 trams, 100 trolleybuses, and 100 other CNG buses. We have also started infrastructure works to streamline traffic, widen roads and create fly-troughs in the busiest parts of Bucharest,” said Firea.

Castrillo highlighted the fact that her administration has implemented restrictive measures to streamline traffic and also to reduce pollution.

“We have recently set a new norm for all of Madrid, which will come into force on November 30, under which it will no longer be able for people to drive at speeds of more than 30km/h in the city, in daytime or nighttime. Traffic will be slower but more fluent. There are protesters, but we are confident that people will support us. At the same time, we provide incentives to taxi drivers who buy clean cars without any imposition. I believe tough measures are needed so that we can reduce pollution in major cities and thus contribute to increasing the lifespans of citizens. Respiratory disease statistics, for example, are a good indicator of the degree of pollution in a city,” she said.

She explained that in recent years efforts have been made in the capital of Spain to modernise the mass transit fleet by purchasing less polluting vehicles.

In October, Firea and Castrillo signed a memorandum of understanding between the two capitals at the Madrid City Hall, identifying a range of areas in which they are interested in developing collaboration: sustainable development, from the perspective of the EU’s Agenda 2030, infrastructure development, education, culture and tourism.

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