UKRAINE: Funding has been agreed for a 4 km extension of the Dnipropetrovs'k metro into the city centre, and plans are being developed to introduce multi-modal smart ticketing and undertake institutional reforms.

The European Bank for Reconstruction & Development approved a €152m sovereign loan for the extension on July 24. The European Investment Bank is expected to provide a similar sum towards the €366m cost, with the government providing the remainder.

The existing 7 km underground line between Komunarivs'ka and the main station opened in December 1995. It will now be extended beneath Karl Marx Avenue into the city centre, adding three stations at Chkalov Park/Teatralna, Tsentralna and Zhovtneva Square/Historical Museum. Construction is expected to take four years.

Improving access from the suburbs to the city centre is expected to help relieve road congestion, with metro ridership predicted to double to more than 20 million people by 2026.

'The existing transport system, which is based on ageing and polluting buses and minibuses, is no longer good for the city', said Jean-Patrick Marquet, EBRD Director for Municipal & Environmental Infrastructure. 'By introducing sustainable and clean urban transport we bring a range of environmental and economic benefits, such as travel time savings, a reduction in the reliance on private car travel and lower emissions.'

EBRD says further assistance will be required to support institutional and regulatory reform, with a €0·9m grant available from the EU's Neighbourhood Investment Facility.

Plans include awarding municipal operator DM a performance-based public service contract in return for future subsidy. Proposals are also being developed to appoint a private-sector contractor to deploy and manage a multi-modal smart ticketing system.