Romania’s Galati to upgrade urban transport with EBRD loan

By Olga Rosca
@olgarosca


A major port town on Danube, Galati is one of the largest hubs for commercial traffic from Romania

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is helping to upgrade urban transport infrastructure in the Romanian city of Galați with a RON 100 million loan (€22.6 million equivalent) and €900,000 grant-based assistance to the municipality.

With the EBRD finance, the city will rehabilitate key streets and water infrastructure, purchase new trolleybuses and introduce a privately-operated automated system for collecting fares. These investments will enhance the quality of public transport services and increase the mobility of Galați residents.

Galați is a major port town on the Danube river, in eastern Romania, with about 250,000 inhabitants. Its economy is based around the Port of Galați, a naval shipyard, a steel plant and mineral exports, making the city one of the largest hubs for commercial traffic from Romania.

In recent decades, underinvestment in urban infrastructure has led to poor road conditions, restricted passenger capacity, increased travel time and costs, as well as greater fuel consumption and related air pollution.

As part of the project the city will develop, with EBRD support, a sustainable urban mobility plan to provide high-quality, sustainable transport for everyone in the city, in line with EU standards. The municipality will also launch new road funding schemes and will set up a fund designated to pay for road maintenance. In addition, it will introduce a performance-based public service contract for public transport operations. As required by EU regulations, a performance-based public service contract will define the rights and obligations of the municipality and the public transport company, and will help ensure commercially sustainable operations.

Marius Stan, Mayor of Galați, said: “We are grateful for the EBRD’s support, which goes beyond investments in improved infrastructure. The transfer of know-how and assistance in developing and implementing a long-term strategy for the management of urban transport are just as important for delivering better-organised transport services for all.”

Jean-Patrick Marquet, EBRD Director for Municipal and Environmental Infrastructure, said: “Better roads, modern trolleybuses and a privately-operated automated fare collection system will make Galați public transport more efficient and therefore more attractive. Our aim is to encourage residents to switch from private cars to public transport which will benefit the community, the economy and the environment of the city.”

The Bank has already financed similar in Sibiu, Iași, Arad, Brașov and most recently Pitești, having invested almost €180 million in urban transport improvements across Romania.

The EBRD is the largest institutional investor in Romania. To date, the Bank has invested over €6.8 billion across 364 projects in the country. It has also mobilised over €14 billion for these ventures from other sources of financing.