28th January 2019, Skopje – The capital city will obtain new low entry eco-friendly gas-powered gas. Up to 35 buses will be purchased with a loan of EUR 10 million provided from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and EUR 1.8 million from the Public Transportation Company (JSP) as own funds. Buses will be put into operation through the streets by the end of this year.

Loan Agreement between EBRD and JSP, Municipal Guarantee Agreement between EBRD and the City of Skopje, as well as Sovereign Guarantee Agreement between EBRD and MoF. were signed today in the Ministry of Finance. Agreements were signed by Minister of Finance Dragan Tevdovski, the Deputy Head of the Municipal and Environmental Infrastructure Team at EBRD Lin o’Grady, the Mayor of the City of Skopje Petre Silegov and the Director of JSP Kristijan Cuskov.

Loan for the Project has been awarded under exceptionally favourable conditions, 6-month EURIBOR variable interest rate increased by 1% margin, 10-year repayment period and 3-year grace period.

Minister of Finance Dragan Tevdovski underlined that this investment clearly reflected the Government’s commitments to invest in projects providing real benefits for the citizens, as well as well-devised projects.

 

-When I say real, I mean projects having actual effects on the economy and contributing to improving the living standards of the citizens. Low-entry CNG buses emit significantly less carbon dioxide compared to diesel-powered buses. This will contribute to resolving the pollution problem. When I say well-devised projects I mean projects meeting more criteria on the longer run. For instance, the new buses will use cheaper energy source compared to double-deckers. There will be also savings in terms of maintenance. – Tevdovski said.

Deputy Head of the Municipal and Environmental Infrastructure Team at EBRD Lin o’Grady said that in addition to the loan, grants will also be awarded for the purpose of implementing the Project.

 

– The Project will be complemented by a EUR 1.1 million technical cooperation package which will funded measures to improve the operational and financial performance of the Company, Lin o’Grady said, also adding that the development of a Green City Action Plan, as well as a Bus Restructuring Strategy would be also supported therewith.

Mayor of the City of Skopje Silegov said that the decision to purchase such type of buses was reached upon carrying out test drives of 3 different models of gas-powered buses and one electric bus in the course of last year. As he stressed, the results from the test drives showed that such type of buses were eco-friendly, energy efficient and cost-effective.

– Ensuring a sustainable urban mobility in the city, to fully respond to the needs of our citizens, remains to be a priority we plan to stay committed to in future as well. Therefore, we work on improving the conditions JSP offers as a service to the citizens, and we expect for the number of passengers using the public bus transportation to increase. This will certainly contribute to reducing the traffic congestion and, most importantly, will significantly provide for reducing the decade-long air pollution – Silegov said.

Director of JSP Cuskov said that the new buses would provide for faster and more efficient public transportation for the citizens.

-The articulated buses will be back on the streets, having the capacity to transport almost twice more passengers than the double-deckers, providing for faster flow of passengers across the bus, thus reducing the required waiting time at the stops, as well as speeding up the movement of the vehicles. As for the new buses, there will be also an opportunity to validate at least two sections of the ticket. All this will automatically enable citizens to reach the final destinations faster than by travelling with the current Chinese buses – Cuskov said.

The use of gas-powered buses will greatly reduce the air pollution, as they emit substantially less CO2 and almost do not emit PM10 and PM25 particles – Director of JSP said.

 

 

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