The FINANCIAL — The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a loan of 100 million lei (€22 million equivalent) to the Romanian city of Constanta for the acquisition of new low emission buses.
The introduction of the low emission vehicles is part of a public transport upgrade for Romania’s largest Black Sea port. Home to a population of 425,000, Constanta is also an important hub for commerce, trade and tourism, according to EBRD.
The new low-floor buses will also be able to accommodate passengers in wheelchairs or with pushchairs. The vehicles will comply with the European Commission’s Euro 6 emission standards for diesel engines, resulting in cleaner air and a more pleasant and efficient commute.
As part of the financial package the EBRD plans to mobilise grant financing to help the municipality enhance its transport operations through a joint-stock company that will operate on commercial principles in order to improve the quality of services. The Bank will also support the city in establishing a regulatory body to manage public transport services in the metropolitan area of Constanta.
An additional grant will aim to help the newly established urban transport company to develop a tool to compare operational performance over time and gain information on industry standards in order to continue improving performance.
Matteo Patrone, EBRD Regional Director for Romania and Bulgaria, said: “We welcome the city’s commitment to reorganising its transport operations, renewing the fleet and improving the operational efficiency in line with EU standards. The EBRD is pleased to support this crucial undertaking that will improve the quality of urban services for almost half a million people.”
Decebal Făgădău, the mayor of Constanta, said: “Further development of Constanta depends on an efficient, sustainable urban transport system. I am pleased that we share with the EBRD the same vision for the future of urban transport to the benefit of all people living in Constanta.”
This loan to the city of Constanta is the fourth project under the EBRD’s new programme entitled Romania Framework for Sustainable Mobility and Access to Road Transport, or SMART, which finances improvements in public transport infrastructure and services in the country. It is also in line with the city’s Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan, which focuses on the modernisation of its public transport system.
The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Romania, having invested over €7.3 billion to date in 384 projects and mobilised more than €14 billion from other sources of financing.