Inhabitants of and visitors to Belgrade will benefit from the modernisation of the bus fleet operated by Gradsko Saobracajno Prezeduzece Beograd (GSP), the Serbian capital’s public transport company, through the acquisition of 400 new buses. The Bank’s loan of up to €65 million will finance 200 low-floor articulated (18 metre) diesel buses, while the City and GSP will acquire the remaining buses in cooperation with the local manufacturers.
The new buses will replace parts of the old diesel bus fleet of older than 10 years and thus improve the reliability and quality of public transport services. As the new buses will be EURO-5 compliant they will also significantly reduce the burden on the environment with substantially reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
CO2 emissions alone are expected to drop by an estimated 35,000 tonnes per year. The savings will be prepared for monetisation under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The EBRD will assist the company with technical cooperation funds to achieve this goal. The Bank will also support the company’s restructuring towards strengthening its efficiency with a strategic management approach and the identification of core and non-core activities and assets.
The introduction of better and greener buses will boost the attractiveness of public transport in Belgrade which is in constant need of expansion to cope with ever-growing demand. In the city of around two million inhabitants, approximately three million trips are registered daily and this amount is expected to grow to four million by 2021, according to the urban transport model and master plan.
“The EBRD has a strong track record of supporting the transportation infrastructure and system in Belgrade,” said Jean-Marc Peterschmitt, the Bank’s Managing Director for Central and South Eastern Europe. “The City has made significant progress in recent years and the opening of the sector to private competitors and investment in new infrastructure has produced strong results. The challenge now is to build on this, and the EBRD stands ready to support these efforts.”
“This project is a continuation of an excellent cooperation between the EBRD and the City of Belgrade,” said Aleksandar Bijelic, Belgrade’s City Manager. “In the last few years the EBRD has become a valuable partner in the development and financing of priority investments in the City. We look forward to new joint investment and development challenges.”
Nebojsa Ceran, General Manager of GSP, said: “The new investment in the GSP’s rolling stock will significantly improve the quality of public transport service for the citizens of Belgrade.”
In recent years the EBRD has financed the purchase of new buses, the building of a new Sava bridge, the reconstruction of the Gazela Bridge (both co-financed with the EIB) and the renewal of tram cars and tracks in Old Belgrade as part of its involvement in the modernisation of Belgrade’s transportation infrastructure.