European Investment Bank supports Brussels in modernising public transport

Brussels Finance and Budget minister Sven Gatz and European Investment Bank (EIB) vice-president Kris Peeters signed a 475 million euros loan agreement on Monday afternoon to modernise the Brussels public transport. "This is the first partnership between the Brussels Region and the European Investment Bank," Minister Gatz stressed.

The money will go towards purchasing 94 electric buses, 43 metro trains and 90 trams, and the renewal of 63 kilometres of tram and metro tracks. "It shows that a major European financial player also qualitatively supports investment policy in Brussels. With this large loan of almost half a billion euros, we are ensuring further modernisation of public transport for metro, bus and tram," said Brussels Finance and Budget minister Sven Gatz (Open VLD).

The European Investment Bank already signed a similar 1 billion euros loan agreement for Flanders for the Oosterweel project and a 1.1 billion euros agreement with Wallonia for post-flood reconstruction in July 2021. "With this investment, we want sustainable public transport in the Capital Region to become a natural choice for getting to work, school or university or simply for recreational use," EIB vice-president Kris Peeters explained.

The purchase of the new rolling stock and improvements to the existing infrastructure are part of a larger strategy by Brussels transport company STIB to reduce its carbon footprint. The company aims to reduce its carbon emissions by 39 per cent by 2030 compared to 2010.

For Brieuc de Meeûs, director general of STIB, these investments are therefore essential for the future of mobility in Brussels: "More vehicles mean more capacity and frequency. Dozens of kilometres of tram tracks will be renewed, meaning more safety and comfort for passengers and residents alike," he concluded.



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