ARGENTINA: On October 20 the World Bank approved the first part of a two-stage Adaptable Loan Programme to support plans to improve the quality of Argentina’s urban transport networks. The US$150m fixed-spread loan extends over the period 2010-16 and is payable in 30 years, including five years’ grace.

The government’s Metropolitan Areas Urban Transport Project has four main components:

  • creation of a Metropolitan Transport Agency for Buenos Aires (US$28·5m);

  • urban transport improvements in five cities: Mendoza, Posadas, Tucumán, Córdoba and Rosario (US$62·9m);

  • improved public transport access and modal integration in Buenos Aires (US$53·6m);

  • an Urban Transport Planning Masters course to improve academic training (US$2·5m).

The creation of a Metropolitan Transport Agency for Buenos Aires is designed to strengthen transport planning and management at a municipal level. Economic growth caused a significant increase in metro (19%) and suburban railway (17%) usage in Buenos Aires between 2002 and 2008.

According to the World Bank, a lack of investment in infrastructure modernisation and network extensions has led to overcrowded and rundown conditions. Other growing metropolitan areas also now need mass transit systems.