The Project aims to improve and modernise the bus operations in Batumi through the purchase of a new bus fleet of 10 electric, to ensure improved environmental and operational performance. In addition to capital investments, the Project will include technical assistance to improve the operational and financial performance of the Company, strengthen transparent contractual framework by the revision and reinforcement of the Public Service Contract between the City and the Company, assist the City to prepare a Green Cities Action Plan and raise public awareness. Funding for the Corporate Development program has been proposed to the Municipal Project Support Facility (“MPSF”). The MPSF is a multi-IFI facility currently accessible to the EBRD, the EIB and KfW, and financed by the EU Neighbourhood Investment Facility (“NIF”). Final decision on the funding is expected in the near future.
This is the first electric bus project supported by the Bank and the first time electric buses are introduced in the Caucasus. Thus, the Project has a significant demonstration effect for such technology and potential for multiplication in Georgia and the wider region. The City has carefully selected the bus line for the electric buses, which will run from the airport to the city centre and then to the railway station delivering maximum visibility and awareness-raising.
The demonstration effect of this Project will be also furthered by the introduction of low floor buses resulting in significant social benefits as they will facilitate easier access for passengers with prams and shopping bags, especially women, and those with limited mobility, including elderly and disabled travellers. The EBRD will provide support for the structuring, preparation and implementation of the operation, and the institutional development of the Company. In parallel, UNDP is assisting the beneficiary to introduce sustainable urban transport in the City.
The project beneficiaries will be supported with post-signing TA to improve the operational and financial performance of the Company, raise public awareness on transport related matters, and prepare a GCAP.