Timisoara improves tram transport and becomes 53rd member of EBRD Green Cities
- EBRD lends Romanian city of Timisoara €20.3 million to improve city tram transport
- Timisoara becomes 53rd member of EBRD Green Cities urban sustainability programme
- European Union will provide €53.6 million grant for €87.2 million infrastructure programme
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will lend €20.3 million (or RON 100 million) to the Romanian city of Timisoara to co-finance, alongside the European Union (EU), key infrastructure projects for the period 2020-2023. These include the renewal of its tram fleet and the rehabilitation of its T5 tram line, as well as two consultancies to support the City’s public transport reforms.
The project will serve as Timisoara’s “trigger” investment, making it the 53rd member of the flagship EBRD Green Cities urban sustainability programme. The €5 billion EBRD Green Cities programme was set up in 2016. Under the programme, cities develop a Green City Action Plan (GCAP) to identify, prioritise and develop tailor-made solutions to their environmental and urban challenges.
The GCAP will build on Timisoara’s pre-existing key objective to improve its public transport infrastructure and services, which is a pre-requisite for business and economic development in the region. This is in line with the EU’s Regional Operational Programme for Romania, targeting green and mobility investments.
The proceeds of the Bank’s loan will be used to co-finance developing Timisoara’s tram infrastructure, alongside a €53.6 million grant from the EU. The total cost of the development will be €87.2, including national and local contributions and technical cooperation funds. The EBRD loan covers the financing gap for Timisoara’s priority infrastructure programme and will help the city introduce long-term sustainable urban planning, with a focus on green, resilience and mobility.
Electric transport systems will not only increase mobility in the region but also improve life and environmental standards by promoting energy efficiency, reducing CO2 emissions and improving public transport quality. The project will save an estimated 22.2 per cent of current emissions, or up to 683 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, per year.
Given Timisoara’s commitment to improving transport, the loan will also finance critical consultancies to update the City’s Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan and to support it in reorganising public transport.
The EBRD is a long-term investor in Romania, where to date it has invested nearly €9.4 billion in 481 projects.
By Vanora Bennett