With support from the EU-funded International Urban and Regional Cooperation (IURC) programme, from June 27th to July 1st, 2022, a delegation from Sofia visited the Indonesian city of Semarang to exchange experiences, share good practices and identify joint pilot actions both cities would implement in 2023 in the area of sustainable urban mobility.

“The European Union is committed to contributing to Indonesia’s urban development and its aspirations to achieve the SDGs and Vision 2045,” said HE Vincent Piket, Ambassador of the European Union to Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam. “We are delighted to support the partnership on urban mobility between Semarang and Sofia under the IURC programme as this is a notable issue that cities around the world are facing. I hope this cooperation will offer new opportunities for learning to address the challenge.”

Since the launch of their cooperation last November 2021, this is the first time Sofia and Semarang officials have met in person. In a series of online meetings prior to this visit, the two cities have identified sustainable urban mobility as their area of interest. The Indonesian city is keen to share its experience in working with the private sector to provide public transport and discuss the plans to develop dedicated bus lanes for Bus Trans Semarang and the reactivation of the tram system to connect with tourist areas. “According to our Urban Mobility Plan, the goal is for the use of private vehicles to decrease to 60% and that of public transport to increase to 40% by 2040,” said Mr Hendrar Prihadi, Mayor of Semarang City. “Also, the integrated mass transit system is expected to cover 95% of the city’s total area. We believe our cooperation with Sofia will deliver concrete recommendations on the execution of our plan to achieve the 2040 target.”

Semarang and Sofia city officials visited the city’s Traffic Control Centre to observe its work, experienced Bus Trans Semarang, visited Semarang’s tram routes, and met with the mayor of Semarang, city official, representatives from Gojek company to explore cooperation and possible business opportunities. The Sofia representatives shared good practices appropriate for transfer, such as the INNOAIR project on-demand public transport, SofiaCoin mobile app encouraging active and public transport use by citizens, branding public transport vehicles to promote tourism, etc.

Following this visit, Semarang is scheduled to visit Sofia in September 2022. A joint pilot action between the two cities is expected to be developed soon afterwards.