The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is supporting the development of greener public transport in Georgia. A sovereign loan of up to €50.6 million will finance the rehabilitation and upgrade of up to 12 metro stations in Tbilisi. The financial package includes an investment grant of up to €5 million from the Green Climate Fund (GCF).
With a population of 1.2 million, Tbilisi was one of the first cities to join the EBRD’s flagship Green Cities program, which supports members in addressing their environmental challenges through sustainable investments and policy measures. The city was also one of the first to develop a Green City Action Plan (GCAP). Tbilisi has already made significant progress thanks to its efforts, including the bus fleet renewal and network restructuring.
The new loan builds on this broader effort, part of which seeks to encourage people to shift from private to public transport. The city’s transport system is set to benefit from the improved reliability, efficiency and climate resilience of its metro stations. Better lighting and ventilation, and greater energy efficiency of escalators, will improve the daily commute of Tbilisians, while an overhaul of the drainage systems is set to make the network more climate resilient.
Infrastructural improvements, coupled with the new asset management plan, to be financed as part of the project, are set to boost the Tbilisi Transport Company’s non-fare revenues, while improving service by reducing the overall downtime required for critical maintenance.
Lasha Khutsishsvili, Minister of Finance of Georgia, said: “EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Georgia. Since the start of its operations in the country, the Bank has invested in various important projects for developing the financial, corporate, urban transport infrastructure, energy and other key areas.
“By signing the Tbilisi Metro Modernization Loan Agreement with the EBRD, we hope to further our efforts to improve Georgia’s environment and citizens’ quality of life. We also hope that the project’s successful completion will encourage more people to use public transportation by enhancing the Metro system’s accessibility, dependability, and safety. The project will improve the metro stations’ energy efficiency that will help the city to build more effective infrastructure and lead to enhanced climate resilience,” Khutsishsvili noted.
“I would like to thank the Bank for being a reliable partner, making great efforts and contributing to the development of our country. I hope that this productive partnership will continue to grow,” he concluded.
Mark Bowman, Vice President for Policy and Partnerships at the EBRD, added: “Tbilisi has made significant progress in transforming urban transport infrastructure to meet its growing environmental challenges. We hope that this fruitful cooperation will continue.”
The EBRD has invested €5 billion in Georgia to date through 283 projects, with more than 80 per cent of those in the private sector. The Bank’s key areas of investment in the country include the financial sector, sustainable infrastructure, manufacturing and services, and small and medium-sized enterprises.
BY REZO BITSADZE FOR EUNEIGHBOURSEAST