EBRD finances modern buses in Astana

By Svitlana  Pyrkalo
@pyrkalo

Modern buses for Astana financed by EBRD

 EBRD First Vice President, Phil Bennett (left), and the Mayor of Astana, Adilbek Zhaksybekov

€65 million will buy 200 accessible buses for fast-growing capital of Kazakhstan

The EBRD is continuing to support modern public transport in Kazakhstan by financing modern low-floor buses which will help satisfy the ever-growing demand for public transport in the country’s fast-growing capital, Astana.

The loan agreement was signed during President Nazarbayev’s visit to London, by the Akim (Mayor) of Astana, Adilbek Zhaksybekov, and the EBRD’s First Vice President, Phil Bennett.

Phil Bennett said: “Today I am very proud to sign this agreement which marks the start of our cooperation with the nation’s capital in the public transport sector.”

Up to 200 buses able to accommodate passengers in wheelchairs or with pushchairs will be purchased by the municipal company Astana LRT and leased to several local bus operators, which are a mixture of both private and public-owned.

As part of the project, the EBRD will also provide a grant of €75,000 for the preparation and tendering of public service contracts between the city and transport operators which will lease the new buses.

These public service contracts will set out quality standards and the required frequency of transport service for participating companies so that private operators can deliver the necessary services at less busy times of day and on less popular routes, providing quality and reliable transport services to citizens. 

The new project marks the fourth Kazakh city where the EBRD has invested in modern public transport. The Bank has financed CNG buses in Almaty and Kyzylorda; trams in Pavlodar; and electric substations used by electric transport in Almaty.

Janet Heckman, EBRD Director for Kazakhstan, said: “Our priority is to improve lives for the citizens of Kazakhstan and therefore we are increasing our investment in public transport and utilities all around the country.”