EBRD extends $25 mln for green buses in Mersin

EBRD extends $25 mln for green buses in Mersin

EBRD extends $25 mln for green buses in Mersin

Residents of Turkey’s Mediterranean province of Mersin will enjoy a new environmentally friendly, modern and comfortable public transport service as 100 new compressed natural gas (CNG) powered buses are set to replace an aging fleet thanks to a new loan and grant package provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

The bank is extending a 15 million-euro 10-year loan, accompanied by a 7 million-euro grant from its Shareholder Special Fund, to ease the strain on Mersin’s public transport system and help improve the urban environment for almost 2 million people, according to a statement released on Dec. 9.

The municipality will buy 30 accordion-type and 70 solo modern CNG buses to boost fuel efficiency, decrease maintenance costs, reduce vehicle breakdowns and lower the system’s carbon footprint. On average, the new fleet is expected to help save 20,468 tons of CO2 equivalent annually compared with the continued use of existing diesel buses.

The municipality has also strengthened its commitments to gender equality and is working on a set of measures to enhance women’s security in public transport.

“This investment will have a direct impact on people’s lives, providing better, safer public transport and cleaner air in the city. While tackling congestion, a good bus service is also vital to tackling social exclusion,” said Arvid Tuerkner, EBRD managing director for Turkey.

Mersin Mayor Vahap Seçer said that “it is our responsibility to fight against global warming and climate change, which affect the future of the world.”

“While protecting the air, water and soil of our city, we also have to work on issues concerning the quality of life, such as transportation and clean energy,” he added.

A leading investor in Turkey, the EBRD has invested more than 14 billion euros in 353 projects in the country since 2009, with the overwhelming majority of those projects in the private sector.