Georgia receives €34 million to buy 200 energy efficient buses

The money will be used to purchase up to 200 new gas-operated buses for Tbilisi. Photo by Georgia's Ministry of Finance., 12 May 2016 - 18:24, Tbilisi,Georgia

Between 150-200 new energy efficient buses will soon be introduced to the bus fleet in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi thanks to two grants totalling €34 million.

The new buses will be operated by compressed natural gas (CNG), meaning they’re more energy efficient, produce reduced vehicle emissions and are cheaper to operate than diesel-equivalent buses.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Georgia’s Finance Ministry penned a deal in London, United Kingdom (UK) yesterday where the EBRD’s 25th Annual Meeting and Business Forum is taking place.

The agreement outlined the EBRD would grant €27 million to Georgia so it can modernise the public bus fleet in capital Tbilisi as a way to reduce vehicle emissions and upgrade the outdated bus fleet. Meanwhile, all new buses will be adapted for people with disabilities. 

In addition, the Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership promised to grant €7 million to Georgia to purchase CNG-operated buses.

Last week Georgia’s Finance Minister Nodar Khaduri, who is also the EBRD Governor for Georgia, said the Bank would finance an initiative to introduce 60 new buses in Tbilisi this summer.

Discussions about overvaluing Tbilisi’s public bus fleet started in December 2015 when the EBRD and Tbilisi City Hall announced €30 million would be spend on purchasing 150 new buses for the capital city.

Upgrading Tbilisi’s public bus fleet was one of several projects in the pipeline to improve the sustainability of the country’s transport sector and reduce the effects of vehicle emissions.