The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has provided a €7m loan for development of low-emission buses in Serbia.
The funding has been released under the EBRD’s Green Cities programme; and will go towards supporting the purchase of buses powered by compressed natural gas (CNG) by the Public Transport Company of Novi Sad, Serbia’s second largest city. Buses provided through Green Cities funding will become available later in 2020; while the Public Transport Company has initiated a series of other projects geared towards the sustainable renewable of its bus fleet. The new buses, which will feature wheelchair access and areas set aside for disabled passengers, will be deployed along Novi Sad’s busiest bus routes, resulting in projected CO2 emissions reduction of at least 70%.
Novi Sad is the second Serbian city to receive support through the ERBD Green Cities initiative, following Belgrade, the country’s capital. Green Cities aims to support cities in implementing sustainable development policies through strategic investment; as well as through producing a comprehensive Green Cities Action Plan, whereby cities are able to identify their most pressing environmental challenges and the optimum ways to address them. EBRD funding has also enabled the city to shore up the energy efficiency of its primary sports and business centre SPENS.
Zsuzsanna Hargitai, EBRD Regional Director, Western Balkans, said: “We are pleased that we are stepping up our cooperation with Novi Sad with the first signed project under the EBRD Green Cities. New buses will help reduce air pollution while providing better quality transport for citizens of Novi Sad. We will continue to support the city in its efforts to create better environment and quality of services in Novi Sad.”
To date, the EBRD has invested more than €5bn in total across 250 projects throughout Serbia, with the aim of stimulating private sector development and the growth of a green economy.