The FINANCIAL — The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a €15 million loan to the city of Iasi for the acquisition of 50 new buses with low carbon emissions.
The introduction of the new vehicles will support the upgrade of public transport in Romania’s second largest city, a long-standing EBRD partner, with a population of 400,000.
The new, environmentally-friendly buses, which comply with the European Commission’s Euro 6 legislation on diesel engine emissions, will result in a more pleasant and efficient commute as well as cleaner air for the population, according to EBRD.
As part of the financial package the EBRD will also provide a grant of €250,000 to enable the municipality to establish a transport authority operating on commercial principles to improve the quality of services. The Bank will also help the city to set up a regulatory body to manage public transport services in the metropolitan area of Iasi.
Matteo Patrone, EBRD Regional Director for Romania and Bulgaria, said: “The economy and the population of Iasi have grown considerably over the past decade. The modernisation of public transport will bolster this growth and contribute to the city’s further development as an important centre for industry, tourism and culture. With this project the EBRD will help the city improve the quality of urban transport services in terms of commute time, congestion and pollution, transport facilities, and road safety.”
Mihai Chirica, the Mayor of Iasi, said: “Our goal is to continue upgrading urban infrastructure, which plays a key role in improving the quality of life in the city of Iasi. By funding public transport projects, the EBRD supports our local government in its efforts to invest in a modern city, one of Romania’s top tourist destinations.”
This loan to the city of Iasi is the third 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 and was developed with the EBRD’s support.
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.