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New trolleybuses for Almaty

The old days of long waits in front of a bus stop or sitting uncomfortably in an ancient vehicle are coming to an end in Kazakhstan’s biggest city, Almaty.

As part of the EBRD’s work to help the city improve its urban transport system, the first batch of 50 new, Bank-financed trolleybuses arrived in Almaty in November 2012. To make this change as visible as possible to the citizens, Almatyelectrotrans (AET) placed some of the brand new trolleybuses on display in the city’s Old Square.

More reliable, environmentally friendly public transport

This was only the start and AET’s entire trolleybus fleet will be completely replaced by spring 2013. “There are 50 additional new vehicles which are expected to be delivered in December and a further 95 ones by the end of April next year,” says Abbas Ofarinov, Associate Banker in the Bank’s Almaty RO.

Modernising the city’s trolleybus fleet will have a very direct and immediate impact on everyday live in Almaty, explains Senior Banker Katya Miroshnik. “This will not only turn the trolleybus system into a more convenient alternative to private cars, but also have a positive influence on the environment and reduce pollution in the city.”

Integrated approach

The project is part of the EBRD’s integrated approach, which aims at improving comprehensively Almaty’s public transport. The new trolleybuses will enable AET to significantly improve services on the existing lines and to offer services on additional routes, providing passengers with more frequent and more reliable services.

With the help of donor funds from the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund, the EBRD is also supporting the deployment of a new electronic ticketing system in Almaty. The new automated fare collection will help integrate services and make the public transport system more user-friendly for its passengers.

Furthermore, the Bank and the city of Almaty signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at developing a new light rail system in the city. With an estimated cost of US$ 300 million, the project will help construct about 14 kilometres of light rail tracks in the city and finance new rolling stock and equipment.

The EBRD’s hard work on the urban transport is highly valued by the city. In the mayor’s conference on innovation, held on 23 November, the mayor publicly thanked Country Director Janet Heckman for the Bank’s financing for the trolleybuses, the buses earlier delivered and cited the projects the Akimat is working on with the EBRD.