The FINANCIAL — The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is continuing to promote modern and energy efficient urban transport systems in Ukraine with the approval of a €100 million financing facility for public transport improvements in a number of Ukrainian municipalities.
The funds will be used for the renewal of municipal rolling stock, buses, trolleybuses and trams, and the rehabilitation of the exisiting public transport infrastructure, according to EBRD.
Individual projects under the Ukraine Public Transport Framework will help replace ageing municipal transport with new ecologically friendly rolling stock. The municipalities are expected to achieve significant energy savings and to reduce operational costs associated with public transport management.
The city of Odessa is the first municipality to join the framework through a 12-year municipally guaranteed loan worth €8 million to the local transport operator, Odesmiskelectrotrans. It will be used for the acquisition of 45 new trolleybuses, which will replace almost half of the existing fleet in the city. Procurement under the project will be implemented in strict accordance with the Bank’s procurement policies and rules, the efficiency of which has been successfully tested for over 20 years in the context of EBRD-funded public sector deals in Ukraine.
The brand new low-floor trolleybuses will be up to 25 per cent more energy efficient than the existing ones and will improve significantly public transport accessibility, especially to the elderly, families with children and people with walking disabilities. The project will also support urban transport sector reform, including, among other things, the optimisation of route networks and transparent tendering of routes to the private sector.
A significant technical cooperation programme will form an integral part of the framework. This will include implementation support, corporate development to the municipally owned public transport companies and strengthening of regulatory systems. Funding from international bilateral/multilateral donors is anticipated or the Bank’s Shareholder Special Fund.
The EBRD is the largest international financial investor in Ukraine. As of 1 October 2015, the Bank had a total cumulative commitment of over €11 billion in 347 projects throughout the country.