EBRD invests in trolleybuses for Bishkek

By Svitlana  Pyrkalo
@pyrkalo

The EBRD is boosting support for public transport in the Kyrgyz Republic with a US$ 10.1 million sovereign loan, accompanied by a US$ 5.5 million grant from the EBRD’s Shareholder Special Fund, for the benefit of the municipally owned Bishkek Trolleybus Company.

The loan will enable the City of Bishkek to buy about 44 high-floor and 32 low-floor (accessible for disabled passengers and passengers with prams) trolleybuses, and to partially upgrade related infrastructure. This is expected to reduce CO2 emissions from public transport in Bishkek by 8 per cent.

The project will also provide support for the introduction of electronic ticketing in Bishkek and, as part of the EBRD-financed project, the company will address gender issues in accordance with the EBRD’s Gender Action Plan, by making transport safer for women and promoting career equality.

Technical cooperation funds will help the Bishkek Trolleybus Company to implement the project, which covers upgrades of the fleet and related infrastructure, as well as institutional development in the form of improved infrastructure maintenance, business planning and electronic ticketing. The funds have been provided by the Bank’s ETC (Early Transition Countries) Fund, the Shareholder Special Fund, the Czech Republic and the TaiwanBusiness - EBRD Cooperation Fund.

“Supporting urban transport is one of the priorities of the EBRD in the Kyrgyz Republic, as reflected in the current strategy. The new trolleybuses and refurbished infrastructure in the Kyrgyz capital will improve the quality of transport and increase the frequency of trolleybuses, while e-ticketing will increase fare collection,” said Jean-Patrick Marquet, ERBD Director for Municipal and Environmental Infrastructure.

“The EBRD’s timely financial assistance in improving the transport infrastructure of the city is very important, especially considering the growth of the city caused by internal migration. We are happy that the Bank and the City Transport Department found effective solutions for the current transport problems,” said Isa Omurkulov, Mayor of Bishkek.

To date, the EBRD has committed about US$ 450 million in various sectors of the Kyrgyz economy, mobilising additional investments from other sources of financing of about US$ 550 million in 74 projects.