EBRD finances public infrastructure for greener urban transport in Sarajevo

Green Forum
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), provided a €10 million loan under the Green Cities Initiative that paved the way for the acquisition of cutting-edge trams, aligning with Sarajevo's vision for a greener, more efficient public transit system.  

With congestion and air quality concerns looming large over the city, this significant investment is poised to alleviate traffic gridlocks and enhance the well-being of Sarajevo's nearly half-million residents. The infusion of €146 million in EBRD financing, spanning new tram tracks, trolleybuses, and tramline extensions to areas like Hrasnica, underscores the Canton Government's commitment to sustainable urban development.

A celebratory ride this Wednesday marked the debut of these state-of-the-art trams, attended by Mr. Adnan Steta, Minister of Transport of the Sarajevo Canton, and Manuela Naessl, EBRD Head of Bosnia and Herzegovina, alongside Sandrine Friscia representative of the European Investment Bank (EIB) and many representatives of the local government and international organizations.

Manuela Naessl noted that “EBRD is pleased to have participated in improving the public transport system in Sarajevo through many great projects, including the first new trams in Sarajevo Canton after 40 years and an extension of the tramline to Hrasnica. Today we mark delivery of the first of 15 trams with an additional 9 trams coming in 2025. Previously EBRD financed reconstruction of the 25 kilometres of tram lines which was completed in 2023 and the introduction of an Adaptive Traffic Management System which will further improve the efficiency and smooth running of public transport. Overall this had a transformative effect on public transport in Sarajevo, which is now cleaner, smoother, and fit for the 21st Century."

These trams, boasting a sleek, low-floor design and a spacious capacity of 180 passengers, promise a seamless commuting experience while significantly reducing air pollution. Equipped with modern amenities such as heating/air conditioning, passenger counting systems, Wi-Fi, USB ports, and video surveillance for enhanced security, these trams prioritize comfort, convenience, and accessibility for all commuters, including individuals with disabilities.

The Ministry of Transport of the Canton of Sarajevo is encouraging a shift towards public transportation, urging residents to opt for eco-friendly alternatives over private vehicles. By embracing these new trams, Sarajevo is not just embracing a mode of transit; it's embracing a sustainable future.

EBRD Green Cities supports cities in addressing their environmental and climate challenges and improving the quality of life of their residents. All participating cities embark on a trigger investment project to improve their local environment. Then, with EBRD's help, they develop a Green City Action Plan (GCAP), creating a tailor-made list of the measures, namely green infrastructure investments and policy actions, that will address their environmental challenges. Sarajevo Canton joined the program in May 2017 and developed its GCAP with support from the government of Japan while the EU (REEP), the government of Austria, and Italy (CEI fund) provided support for the preparation and implementation of selected GCAP projects EBRD financed.

The EBRD has invested more than €3 billion in 223 projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina since it began operating there in 1996. The Bank's strategic priorities in the country are to promote the green economy, support the competitive development of the private sector, and foster regional integration.

Green Forum  |  17 May, 2024 at 9:00 AM