EIB finances new 17km suburban rapid transit system in Tunis
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is strengthening its support for the development of efficient and sustainable urban transport infrastructure accessible to Tunisians living in the country.
More than 15,600 jobs will be created in the Tunis suburbs thanks to the development of this railway project, which will provide the city of Tunis with a new 17km rapid transit system.
Zied Ladhari, Minister of Development, Investment and International Cooperation (MDICI) and Flavia Palanza, Director of EIB Neighbourhood Loan Operations, signed a Financing Agreement in Tunis for €83 million to support the construction and commissioning of the new fast rail network in Tunis.
The key objective is to decongest the road access to the capital, while reducing air and noise pollution, as well as greenhouse gas emissions.
The first stretch of line D extends from Tunis City to Gobaa for 11.3 km with the service to 9 stations along the existing international railway line between Tunis and Algiers, while the first section of line E extends from Tunis City to Bougatfa for 8.2 km with service to 7 stations.
This new financing will make it possible, in concrete terms, to purchase 28 trains needed for the new rapid transit system, whose first-line operation is planned for October 2018. It will also make it possible to finance the construction of new infrastructures essential to this network, such as a centre maintenance and additional parking areas at terminated stations.
“Through this new financing, the EIB is demonstrating its concrete commitment to innovation, transport and the fight against climate change, which is a cornerstone of sustainable and forward-looking development. The challenge is to enable Tunisia to equip itself with efficient, sustainable and job-creating infrastructure. I also welcome their direct impact on improving the daily lives of Tunisians.” Said Flavia Palanza, Director of lending operations in the neighbouring countries to the EIB.
The financing of this project will contribute to the service of an area of some 620,000 inhabitants, bringing to 40% the share of public transport in this city. The introduction of this new public transport service will enhance the attractiveness of public transport in relation to private cars and optimize bus services, thereby reducing the overall impact of atmospheric CO2 emissions from urban transport.
The partnership between the EIB and the Republic of Tunisia is long-lasting, with 75 signed operations to date. Since 1988, the Bank has financed four railway projects for a total amount of €186 million, including the first financing operation for the fast rail network project in Tunis.
This EIB financing is part of the dynamics of the European Union’s Neighbourhood Policy, whose support for the modernization of infrastructures essential to the daily life of the inhabitants is a strong axis of action. It also responds to the priorities of the Economic Resilience Initiative set up by the EIB to support, inter alia, job creation in countries affected by the refugee crisis.