EBRD launches a series of projects to support public transport reform in Kazakhstan
The FINANCIAL – The EBRD is supporting the modernisation of the public transport services in Almaty with a US$ 35.2 million loan to KGP Almatyelectrotrans (AET), a municipal public transport company, part of the Bank’s wider approach to assist the city in reforming its urban transport system.
“AET is one of the 19 transport companies servicing the city of Almaty, the largest city in Kazakhstan. The company is currently operating trams and trolleybuses and is planning to extend its activity by introducing bus services on up to nine of 122 urban bus routes,” EBRD says.
Currently the majority of buses used for passenger transport in the city are in poor technical condition, out-dated and highly polluting vehicles running on diesel.
The proceeds of the EBRD loan will be used to purchase 200 new environmentally friendly modern buses fuelled by compressed natural gas (CNG), helping AET to become a modern bus operator. The project will set higher environmental standards in Almaty’s urban transport sector, encouraging other public transport operators to improve the quality of their services.
The loan to AET is part of series of EBRD investments aimed at supporting the reform of public transport in Almaty. With the support of considerable technical assistance grants, the EBRD is planning to help the municipality to improve sector’s regulatory framework, to acquire new modern trolleybuses in the coming months, to develop high capacity light rail transport mode in Almaty and to introduce integrated electronic ticketing system.
“Through these investments the EBRD is supporting a much-needed upgrade in Almaty’s public transport system. Our integrated approach will address key challenges of urban transport in Almaty, and will ensure a wider long-lasting impact”, said Michael Weinstein, EBRD Director for Kazakhstan.
“The modernisation of the bus fleet through introduction of low floor CNG buses compliant with Euro IV-VI standard will have mainly positive environmental and social impacts. The project will contribute to improving air quality in the City of Almaty, will reduce passenger congestion and improve overall quality and efficiency of urban transportation”, said Murat Kudyshev, Deputy Akim of Almaty.
“Thanks to the support of the City of Almaty we have signed a very important loan agreement for the purchase of 200 CNG Buses Euro IV standard, which will give a boost to the quality of urban transport in the city. We are looking forward to further mutually beneficial co-operation with such a reliable partner as the EBRD”, added Talgat Abdrakhmanov, Head of KGP Almatyelectrotrans.
The EBRD is the largest financial investor in Kazakhstan, having committed to date over €2.8 billion through 135 projects in various sectors of the country’s economy.