SARAJEVO (Bosnia and Herzegovina), February 5 (SeeNews) - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said on Wednesday it is providing two loans worth 35 million euro ($39 million) in total for public transport investments in Bosnia's Sarajevo that will help reduce air pollution in the city.
"The EBRD is financing major investments to improve public transport in Sarajevo, with CO2 emission reductions likely to exceed 30 per cent, in an effort to tackle the alarming air pollution in the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina," the EBRD said in a statement.
The lender and Bosnia's finance ministry signed on Wednesday the two loan agreementssupported under the EBRD Green Cities programme.
The first loan of 20 million euro will help Sarajevo Canton's public transport company Gradski Saobracaj (GRAS) to finance the overhaul of the 19.5 km-long dual-track tramline it operates which is almost 50 years old and has deteriorated significantly.
The second loan of up to 15 million euro will allow GRAS to buy up to 25 new trolleybuses. The upgraded trolleybus fleet will consume 50% less electricity, resulting in significant cost savings and environmental benefits.
"Traffic congestion, especially during rush hour, is a severe problem in the city. The poor quality of public transport is the main reason why so many people in Sarajevo use cars, increasing fuel consumption and noise pollution," the bank said.
EBRD Green Cities supports cities in addressing their environmental issues and improving the quality of life of their residents. Sarajevo Canton joined the programme in May 2017 and has since worked on developing an action plan with support from the government of Japan, the EBRD said.
Sarajevo is the third Bosnian city to become a member of EBRD Green Cities, after Banja Luka and Zenica. The programme also includes investments in Sarajevo's water supply network.