Green buses, green city

Tbilisi is home to 1.2 million people, roughly a third of Georgia’s total population. The current bus network in the city consists of around 680 buses. The vehicles are old, resulting in frequent breakdowns, decreasing average speeds and worsening traffic.

The EBRD’s €27 million sovereign loan will improve and modernise the bus operations in Tbilisi through the purchase of a fleet of 143 modern, low-floor and environmentally cleaner compressed natural gas (CNG) buses. The EBRD’s loan is complemented by a capital grant of €7 million from the Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership (E5P).

The project will improve public transport reliability, safety and efficiency, while the CNG technology will reduce polluting air emissions, in line with the EBRD’s Green Economy Transition. The low-floor buses will also bring significant social benefits, facilitating easier access for elderly and disabled passengers, as well as parents with young children.

Moreover, the improved quality of the service will result in a modal shift to more people taking public transport as opposed to using cars, with the associated benefits of reduced congestion and vehicle emissions.

Sector: MEI

EBRD investment: €27 million

Other benefits: Reduced pollution; greater social inclusion; financial sustainability of municipal services