ba-sarajevo tram

BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA: The European Investment Bank has signed a €40m loan ‘on the most favourable terms’ to support the modernisation and extension of Sarajevo’s tram and trolleybus networks.

This will include renovating infrastructure on the 19·5 km tramway, re-establishing trolleybus infrastructure within existing alignments, and acquiring new trams and trolleybuses.

The overall aim is to create a more efficient and reliable public transport system to encourage modal shift from private transport, increasing safety and addressing what Minister of Finance & Treasury Vjekoslav Bevanda said were the city’s ‘very well known’ problems with road congestion and air pollution.

EIB has invested a total of €1·6bn in the modernisation of transport infrastructure in Bosnia-Herzegovina to date, with the majority of the funding being allocated to Pan-European Corridor Vc.

Ensuring a green recovery from the Covid-19 crisis is now a priority for the bank, and ‘sustainable mobility is a key step in that direction’, said Lilyana Pavlova, EIB Vice-President responsible for the Western Balkans, after the latest agreement was signed on March 17.

In February 2020 the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development agreed to provide a €20m loan under its Green City programme to support the modernisation of the Sarajevo tramway, which it said had seen no major improvements in decades, and to support plans to acquire new trams. It also agreed a €15m loan for the purchase of up to 25 trolleybuses.