The EBRD is supporting a comprehensive plan to modernise Chisinau’s urban transport.
Trolleybuses have been the mainstay of public transport in Chisinau since Soviet times, serving the needs of some 180 million passengers every year. This number though had been steadily decreasing largely because of the poor state of the vehicles, most of which are over 20 years old.
To help the city re-establish a reliable urban transport system for its 700,000 inhabitants, in 2010 the EBRD extended a €5 million loan to the municipality to buy 102 new vehicles, together with spare parts and maintenance equipment.
The new trolleybuses are at least 20 per cent more energy efficient and produce zero carbon emissions. On the lines where new busses are running, ridership has already increased by up to 30 per cent.
The investment, which was co-financed by a €5 million loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and a €3 million grant from the EU's Neighbourhood Investment Facility, is part of a comprehensive plan to radically improve the way people circulate in the streets of Chisinau and has been supported by technical cooperation funded by the Early Transition Countries (ETC) Fund and Germany.
Last December the Bank signed a €10.3 million loan with the city to support the next transport revolution in the capital: a major upgrade of the city’s road network which decades of under-investment have left in a parlous state. The loan is backed by a €1.4 million tranche funded by Taipei China through the Green Energy Special Fund and the European Investment Bank is considering a parallel loan of €10.3 million for the project.
Thanks to EBRD financing the municipality will be able to renew roads and pavements, modernise street lighting, build on-street parking facilities and implement a modern tariff and e-ticketing system across all public transport. There are many benefits for passengers, including easier interchange and flexible fares. It will also reduce ticket fare evasion and allow full cost-recovery.
The transport revolution in Chisinau is in full swing and, as they say, the capital’s commuters, drivers and visitors have already got their ticket to ride.