IFC supports new tram line in Antalya in bid to strengthen public transport
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has said it is helping finance a new tram line in Antalya, Turkey’s fifth-largest urban center, as part of an effort to help municipal authorities improve public transport and build a sustainable city.
In a statement on Dec. 4, the IFC said it will provide the Mediterranean city a 140 million euro finance package, helping the city add 18 kilometers of track and 29 stations to its urban rail transit system.
Antalya currently has 30 km of tram lines and the expansion of the network will connect the northern suburbs of Varsak and Müze to the city center, read the statement.
The financing will also help the municipality buy 20 new tram cars, it added.
The IFC is providing an 80 million euro loan from its own account and mobilizing a 60 million euro loan from its Managed Co-Lending Portfolio Program, which allows institutional investors to passively participate in IFC’s lending program, according to the statement.
The IFC also advised the municipality, through its Europe and Central Asia Cities Platform, on financing options and safety standards.
Turkish cities ‘among top 10’
The Turkish cities İzmir, Istanbul, and Antalya are among 10 cities in the world where IFC established strategic relationships to expand their work, according to the statement.
“The commitment of IFC is a sign of confidence in our city. With IFC we have developed the most suitable financing model and we will develop Antalya’s rail transport system to become the second largest in Turkey, following Istanbul. Antalya will continue to grow in a sustainable and planned way,” Antalya Mayor Menderes Türel said.
Antalya is Turkey’s main tourist destination, receiving around 30 percent of the country’s visitors. With 2.3 million people, it is one of the fastest growing cities in the country.
The new tram line is expected to carry an additional 25 million passengers every year, significantly improving urban mobility and helping reduce traffic congestion in the city, according to the statement.
“Fast-expanding cities like Antalya are driving economic growth across the developing world,” said Wiebke Schloemer, IFC’s regional industry head of infrastructure in Europe, Middle East and North Africa.
“For them to keep growing, they need to continue to beef up urban infrastructure in a cost-effective and eco-friendly way. And that’s exactly what public transit does,” he added.