The FINANCIAL -- New low-floor buses will be introduced in the Georgian coastal city of Batumi through the EU-funded Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership (E5P) Fund.
The vehicles aim to improve the service for the city’s local population and its tourists by increasing the reliability, safety and efficiency of public transport, while benefiting the environment by reducing emissions.
According to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which manages the E5P fund, the low-floor buses will facilitate easier access for passengers including those with limited movement, the elderly and disabled, and parents with pushchairs.
"The EU is committed to the global transition to clean energy and these electric buses are an excellent example of that,” European Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič said at a signing ceremony in Batumi.
“Energy transition in transport is already under way and I am glad to see that Batumi is a pioneer for it not only in Georgia, but in the whole region," he added.
The project is part of the EBRD’s Green Cities Framework, which is a programme supporting municipal “green” investments and is available across all of the countries that the Bank operates in, according to EU Neighbours East Info.
The E5P is a €180 million multi-donor fund operating in the Eastern Partnership countries of Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The EU is the largest overall contributor to the fund. The main objective of the E5P initiative is to use grants to leverage loans dedicated to municipal energy efficiency and environmental projects, for example the rehabilitation of water and wastewater systems, solid waste management, street lighting, local transport and the insulation of public buildings.