This report covers the results of the EU-funded research project FATIMA (Financial Assistance for Transport Integration in Metropolitan Areas), which was conducted between April 1997 and September 1998, and had the following objectives:

  1. to identify the benefits to the private sector of optimal urban transport strategies, and the potential for obtaining private sector funding to reflect those benefits;
  2. to determine the differences between strategies optimised using public funds and those optimised within the constraints imposed by private funding initiatives;
  3. to propose mechanisms by which private sector funding can be provided so as to achieve appropriately optimal transport strategies while maintaining quality of operation; and
  4. to use the results to provide more general guidance on the role of private sector funding for urban transport in the EU.

The cities of Europe face serious challenges in the transport sector. Transport in urban city areas is obviously not sustainable today; however there is increasing pressure (international, national and local) for a shift of policy towards sustainability. At the same time, the cities will need to increase accessibility and efficiency in transport service provision.

In many cities, available public funds for transport provision and transport infrastructure improvements are lacking or severely restricted. As a result there is a large amount of interest in using private finance to support urban transport provision.

The project is based on nine cities: Edinburgh, Eisenstadt, Helsinki, Liverpool, Oslo, Salerno, Torino, Trømsø and Wien. Each has an existing transport model, which has already been used to conduct a series of transport policy tests.

FATIMA will draw directly on the results of the recently completed OPTIMA project, which was carried out by the same consortium of research institutions. In OPTIMA, optimal transport policies for the nine FATIMA European cities were identified with respect to both an economic efficiency objective and a sustainability objective. In most of these case studies, financial constraints were identified as an impediment to the implementation of the optimal policies.