In 2015, Ministry of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Lithuania adopted the Guidelines on the Preparation of Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMP Guidelines). Based on these guidelines, 18 Lithuanian cities (with over 25,000 inhabitants or with the status of “resort”) prepared SUMPs during the period 2014-2020. Two additional cities with less than 25,000 inhabitants and no “resort” status also prepared SUMPs at their own expense. Therefore, as of March 2023, there are 20 Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans in Lithuania. Five more cities are preparing a SUMP or planning to do so soon.
In 2022, the Ministry of Transport and Communications updated its recommendations concerning the new European Urban Mobility Framework and other relevant European Union and Lithuanian strategy documents (Green Deal, Lithuanian Transport Development Programme for 2022-2030). This was renamed as the Guidelines on the Preparation of Sustainable Mobility Plans, i.e. without “urban”, focusing on the fact that Sustainable Mobility Plans are recommended not only for cities but also for regions or other urban areas. The updated guidance covers ten updated thematic areas (based on the new European Urban Mobility Framework and is designed to avoid a radical departure from the first version of the guidance):
- Public transport.
- Active mobility and micro-mobility.
- Promoting sustainable mobility.
- Traffic and public safety.
- Traffic organisation and mobility management.
- Logistics of the plan area (Sustainable Logistics Plan).
- Accessibility of the transport system.
- Alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure development.
- Intelligent transport systems, digitisation, innovation, and new mobility services.
- Development of TEN-T transport interchange infrastructure.
SUMP developments are based on established city planning processes and are closely linked to a city's master plan. Most of the cities in Lithuania already have in place 10-year city master plans.
Of the 20 cities in Lithuania with sustainable mobility plans, the majority (14 cities) have already renewed or are planning to renew their sustainable mobility plans within the upcoming years. The renewal scope varies according to each city's vision and needs. Some cities are updating their Sustainable Mobility Plans entirely, others are updating only certain parts, and some are updating only the measures and action plans. It is worth noting that all changes are overseen and coordinated by the Commission for Sustainable Mobility Plans (constantly updated), composed of 25 public sector experts from different disciplines (with the Ministry of Transport as the main coordinator). A set of rules of procedure has been adopted to guide the Commission's working methods.
The cost of implementing the actions and measures of the Sustainable Mobility Plans is currently covered by the city's budget and other public funding sources. However, for the 18 cities that prepared their plans during the period 2014-2020, the EU Funds Investment Programme for the period 2021-2027 has a specific programme called "Sustainable Urban Mobility", which provides funding for measures such as the acquisition of zero-emission public transport vehicles (electric, hydrogen); the development of alternative fuel charging/refuelling infrastructure; the integration and infrastructure development of micro-mobility transport; and other sustainable mobility measures that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.