TURKEY: The European Bank for Reconstruction & Development has approved a 15-year loan worth €50m towards construction of the second phase of the light rail network in Bursa. The loan is part of a financing package which also includes €100m from the European Investment Bank.

The BursaRay light rail network is currently 23 km long with 26 stops and is worked by 48 Siemens Type B-80 cars. Daily ridership averages 160 000 passengers. The funding will allow the operator to purchase 30 Flexity Swift cars from Bombardier to boost capacity on the expanding network.

Phase II of the BursaRay project involves expansion of the Y-shaped two-line network to the west and the north. The first 2·9 km western extension of Line 2 between Kücük Sanayi and Özlüce opened in December 2010 and a further 3·6 km section to Uludag University is due for completion in mid-2011. A 2·5 km northern extension of Line 1 from Organize Sanayi to Emek will follow later (RG 4.11 p80).

‘This is an important project for Bursa, which will allow us to extend the LRT system and to contribute to improving environmental conditions and the quality of transport services in the city’, said Mayor of Bursa Recep Altepe.