Public transport

Climate change mitigation:

Demonstrate substantial GHG emission reduction by: - Increasing the number of low- and zero emission fleets, and improving fleet efficiency - Improving efficiency of the overall transport/mobility system

Metric and threshold:

CO2e emissions per passenger- kilometre (gCO2e/pkm).
Zero direct emissions land transport activities (e.g. light rail transit, metro, tram, trolleybus, bus and rail) are eligible.
Other fleets are eligible if direct emissions are below 50 gCO2e/pkm until 2025 (non-eligible thereafter).

Brief rationale

Zero direct emissions public transport (e.g. electric, hydrogen) is eligible because: 

• With the present energy mix, the overall emissions associated with zero direct emissions public transport (i.e. electric or hydrogen) are among the lowest compared with other transport modes. 
• The generation of the energy carriers used by zero direct emissions transport is assumed to become low or zero carbon in the near future.

The threshold of 50 gCO2e/pkm until 2025 ensures that the carbon intensity remains similar to criteria for eligible road vehicles with low occupation factor (50 gCO2/vkm) and significantly lower than emissions for an average car.

The threshold of 50 gCO2e/pkm until 2025 ensures that the carbon intensity remains similar to criteria for eligible road vehicles with low occupation factor (50 gCO2/vkm) and significantly lower than the average car (290 gCO2 /vkm ). The criteria is based on actual ridership (passenger-km) and not capacity offered (seat-km or places-km). This should be justified through real monitoring data from operations or ex-ante demand assessments. The current average emissions intensity for a bus in the EU is 70-90 g CO2 e/pkm with load factors of around 10 passengers per bus, with the variation dependent on a number of considerations such as public service obligations, type of service, etc. As per current average technology, a hybrid bus would require at least 16 passenger average occupation factor, and diesel more than 20 passengers to be eligible. This threshold is therefore stringent while it provides some flexibility to recognize highly efficient systems and advanced hybrid technology. Diesel and petrol cars still represent the immense majority of the road fleet in all countries and the penetration of electric vehicles will materialize at a yet unknown pace. In the meanwhile, a lack of investment in public transport fleet renewal can lead to behavioural changes, such as modal shift to private car that would be significantly more difficult to revert in the future .

Climate change mitigation do no significant harm:

The main potential significant harm to other environmental objectives from the operation of urban and suburban passenger land transport (public transport) are summarised as follows: • Direct emissions to air from the exhaust gases of internal combustion engine: nitrogen oxides (NOx), total hydrocarbon (THC), non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHC), carbon monoxide (CO), particulate matter (PM) and particle number, and from tyre abrasion and brakes friction and noise emissions ; • Waste generation (hazardous and non-hazardous) during maintenance and end-of-life of the vehicle or rolling stock.

• Refer to the screening criteria for DNSH to climate change adaptation.

Circular economy:
• Regarding both maintenance and end-of-life management of vehicles or rolling stock, compliance with EU and national legislation on hazardous waste generation, management and treatment. • Compliance with Directive 2000/53/EC ("End-of-life of vehicles Directive") only for vehicle types M1 and N1 (busses are out of scope of the Directive)

Based on legislation:

General reference to EU legislation End of life vehicles Directive

• Buses must comply with the current Euro VID and from 2022, the Euro VIE stage. Railcars, locomotives must comply with latest applicable standards (currently stage 5) of Non-Road Mobile Machinery Regulation . • Where applicable, tyres must comply with the (revised) Tyre labelling regulation . It includes noise labelling requirements but not requirements on tyre abrasion. However, the proposal of revision envisages a test method to be developed: A suitable testing method to measure tyre abrasion is not currently available. Therefore, the Commission should mandate the development of such a method, taking into full consideration of all state-of-the-art internationally developed or proposed standards or regulations, with a view to establishing a suitable testing method as soon as possible. • Where applicable, tyres must comply with the noise requirements set by Regulation (EC) No 661/2009 on type-approval requirements for the general safety of motor vehicles . • Vehicles must comply with Regulation (EU) No 540/2014 on the sound level of motor vehicles and of replacement silencing systems. • Minimise noise and vibrations of rolling stock by applying thresholds on pass-by noise in dB in line with Regulation 1304/2014 Noise TSI : o Electric locomotives <84dB at 80km/h & <99 at 250 km/h; o Diesel locomotives <85 at 80km/h; o Electric multiple units <80dB at 80km/h & <95 at 250 km/h; o Diesel Multiple Units <81dB at 80km/h & <96 at 250 km/h; o Coaches <79dB at 80km/h; o Wagons <83dB at 80km/h

Based on legislation:

Emissions standards (Euro VID, Euro VIE) Non-road mobile machinery regulation Sound level of silencing systems regulation Type approval requirements for the general safety of motor vehicles


Based on legislation:


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