The FINANCIAL — Fifty clean, modern and accessible buses arrived today in the city of Kyzylorda, raising the quality of local transport for thousands of citizens in this major regional centre in southern Kazakhstan.
This is the first delivery of buses under an EBRD project that will ultimately finance a total of 92 new buses and reform the city’s public transport system, according to EBRD.
The buses were unveiled in a ceremony in Kyzylorda attended by the Akim of Kyzylorda Oblast, Krymbek Kusherbayev, and Janet Heckman, EBRD Director for Kazakhstan.
Janet Heckman said: “We at the EBRD are very proud of our cooperation with Kyzylorda. These 50 new buses – and there will be 92 in total – will tangibly improve citizen’s lives, making the air cleaner, journeys more pleasant and buses more accessible to people in wheelchairs and to parents with prams. This EBRD-supported project also ensures a reform of the city’s transport system to improve cooperation between the municipal transport company and private sector operators, which will make services more reliable.”
The EBRD has already financed projects with similar type of buses in Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest city.
In Kyzylorda, the EBRD has financed, or expressed interest in financing, a wide range of public utilities, from water and wastewater to district heating, solid waste, street lighting and transport. “Close cooperation with the authorities on vital upgrades – combined with reform – is a model we use for regional development here in Kyzylorda and in other cities in Kazakhstan,” said Ekaterina Miroshnik, EBRD Director for Infrastructure in Russia and Central Asia.
The loan of up to US$ 18.8 million to Avtobusnyi Park Kyzylorda, a municipal public transport company, owned by JSC “NK “SPK “Baikonur”, was provided not only for purchasing the 92 “green” buses that run on compressed natural gas (CNG) but for depot workshop equipment and public transport service planning, including an electronic monitoring system.
To date, the EBRD has invested over €6.5 billion in various sectors of Kazakhstan’s economy.