The Operational Programme on Transport 2014-2020 (OPT) is one of six operational programmes of the Republic of Bulgaria, which are financed by the Structural and the Cohesion Funds of the EU. The OPT programme is the operational programme with one of the largest budgets in Bulgaria. The goal of OPT is development of railway, road and waterway infrastructure, as well as stimulation of development of multimodal transport in accordance with the EU transport policy and the established requirements for development of the Trans-European transport network in order to achieve connectivity of the Bulgarian transport system. Specific features of the OPT are advanced selection of particular Beneficiaries of the projects and advanced prioritisation of an indicative list of infrastructure projects envisaged for financing under the programme.
The overall objective of the Operational Programme “Transport and Transport Infrastructure” 2014-2020, is “Development of a sustainable transport system”. The overall objective of the programme complies with thematic objective No 4 “Supporting the shifts towards a low-carbon economy in all sectors” and thematic objective No. 7 “Promoting sustainable transport and removing bottlenecks in key network infrastructures”. In the financed projects will contribute to the effective connectivity of the transport network and for removing bottlenecks in it, reducing congestion, noise and pollution levels, improving safety, promoting the use of environment-friendly modes of transport, creating more jobs, etc.
Two specific objectives are identified to achieve the overall objective of the Operational Programme “Transport and Transport Infrastructure” 2014-2020: the first specific objective is “Integrated development of the transport network of the country as a part of the Trans-European Transport Network”, primarily focused on completing the priority rail (including urban rail transport) and road areas and promoting multimodal transport. The gradual completion of the Trans-European transport network and the new projects are expected to result in better integration of the national network in the EU network and the network of the neighbouring countries. The second specific objective is “Enhancing the efficiency of the use of transport and transport infrastructure”. The Programme provides for interventions to improve the quality and sustainability of transport services through the establishment of modernised infrastructure for traffic management, to improve safety and security of transport, to create a modern management system.
According to the European Parliament and of the Council Regulation (EC) No. 1303/2013 and No. 1299/2013 the programme has to be defined at the level of Priority Axes, underlining the most important directions of development. There are five Priority Axes in the OPT. Priority axis I - Development of railway infrastructure along the “core” and “comprehensive” Trans-European Transport Network”; Priority axis II - Development of road infrastructure along the “core” Trans-European Transport Network”; Priority axis III - Improvement of intermodal transport services for passengers and freights and development of sustainable urban transport; Priority axis IV - Innovations in management and services - establishment of modern infrastructure for traffic management and transport safety improvement”; Priority axis V - Technical assistance.