The EBRD supports the development of safe and sustainable transport systems which balance the economic, environmental and social needs of the countries where we invest.
Transport is a vital component of our work. It drives development, links people, builds markets, facilitates trade and connects local communities to the world. In turn, sustainable transport leads to sustainable development, which is fundamental to meeting the needs of both current populations and of future generations.
Sustainable transport is also key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of inclusive growth, job creation, poverty reduction, access to markets, the empowerment of women, and the well-being of persons with disabilities and other vulnerable groups. It is also essential to our efforts to fight climate change, reduce air pollution and improve road safety.
Given the strategic importance of the transport sector for sustainable development and in line with our endorsement of the joint MDB commitment for Sustainable Transport issued at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in 2012 (Rio+20), the EBRD has increased its impact in terms of volume of financing, coverage of sectors, emission reductions, policy dialogue and innovative financing instruments over the recent years.
In 2016 we signed 23 transactions in the transport sector for a total EBRD investment of €1.01 billion, including the promotion of inland water transport and rail infrastructure in the Western Balkans, the expansion of port capacity grain exports in Ukraine and investments in mass and public transport in various other cities across our region.
The Bank continues to successfully scale up green transport investments by going beyond providing finance for projects – we combine investments with technical cooperation and policy dialogue, creating a blueprint for sustainable development that extends beyond our current projects.
Our work in Bosnia and Herzegovina in creating safer and more resilient roads is an example of this. We support “top-down” policy-making – that is, supporting the implementation of policies which create an environment that fosters sustainable projects – and also “bottom-up” evidence-based policy-making, where experience from projects is fed back to governments and the investor community to help remove real barriers to the further growth of a sector, such as through the publication of policy papers about automated fare collection systems in public transport, or organising seminars about green logistics.
The Green Logistics Programme
The growth of transport demand shows the importance of decarbonising the transport chain to tackle climate change. With the support of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), in 2016 we launched the Green Logistics Programme (GLP) which takes a strategic approach to address carbon emissions from the transport sector and encourage major players to introduce best practices in carbon reduction to combat both the region’s and the sector’s persistent reputation of highly inefficient energy use.
Innovative solutions such as increasing use of intelligent transportation systems, last-mile logistics, modal shift to lower carbon transport modes, green packaging, green warehousing and other best practices are all possibilities for our transport clients under the GLP.
Improving road safety
The EBRD invests in many projects to improve road safety. In 2011 the EBRD joined other MDBs in establishing an MDB Road Safety Initiative to increase road safety activities. Since then, the Bank has increased its financing of road safety improvements, mobilising over €2 million of technical assistance for road safety audits, capacity building, policy and institutional development and awareness events. In 2016 alone we raised €400,000 from the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund for the development of a traffic accident database in Bosnia and Herzegovina and we launched an initiative of knowledge-sharing among MDBs on the topic of occupational road safety.
See also Health and Safety.
Automated Fare Collection (AFC) systems
Cities are increasingly recognising that efficient fare collection is a key component in providing sustainable public transport services. AFC systems are an essential part of a modern public transport system through improved user services of easier payment access, real time information and service responsiveness. These systems work best in integrated public transport networks with enhanced user information and fare products to encourage increased usage. The EBRD encourages cities to adopt such systems and is currently developing knowledge platforms and dissemination tools, notably an AFC policy paper and seminars.
Since 2013, the EBRD has invested €72 million in developing modern AFC systems in Budapest and in the Ukrainian cities of Vinnytsia and Lviv, based on design, build and maintain (DBM) contracts between the city authorities and private AFC system providers. Loan proceeds are used to finance AFC system fixed assets, travel media, software installation and maintenance services with additional local contributions for project management and marketing. The systems encourage financial sustainability through increased ticket sales, reduced cash leakage and lower operating expenses.