Residents of the Turkish capital Ankara will enjoy cleaner air thanks to a €57.1 million loan by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) extended to the city’s public transport company EGO (state-owned company affiliated to Ankara Metropolitan Municipality) to replace polluting diesel buses with 254 natural gas vehicles and install a CNG station.
“We work to invest in infrastructure projects to increase efficiency and improve the quality of lives, paying a particular attention to public health. We are pleased with the EBRD support and are looking forward to working together on future projects,” said the Mayor of Ankara, Mansur Yavas.
“The new buses will significantly reduce air pollution in the city, an ever growing problem. The project also recognizes the realities of our time – the COVID-19 pandemic – as this increase in operational capacity is essential to ensure safe social distancing on buses, which in turn will deter a shift back to cars. This in itself will have a huge and positive impact on the city,” commented Nandita Parshad, Managing Director of the Sustainable Infrastructure Group at the EBRD.
“I would like to commend the municipality for promoting a green fleet renewal solution. We believe this transaction will be the first of many others to come in Ankara and we look forward to strengthening our relationship with the city. We also hope that our cooperation will attract other lenders to the city’s future investments,” added Arvid Tuerkner, EBRD’s Managing Director for Turkey.
The agreement confirmed Ankara as the 44th member of EBRD Green Cities, the bank’s flagship urban sustainability program. On joining this initiative, cities undertake a trigger project with EBRD finance, as well as crafting their own Green City Action Plan (GCAP) setting out further actions. Ankara will be the second city in Turkey joining EBRD Green Cities following Izmir and will be a showcase for others.
Ankara Metropolitan Municipality, with a population of 5.7 million, is the second largest city in Turkey after Istanbul and the country’s political and economic hub. Its population is growing at about two per cent a year, putting pressure on urban transport. Recognizing the impact of poor air quality and the global effects of carbon emissions, the city is developing a greener future by investing in its public transport system and working on a comprehensive strategy to improve its environmental performance.