The City of Barcelona can set about modernising its fleet of public transportation buses following the decision by the European Investment Bank (EIB) to assist Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB) put 75 new Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses into service.
Altogether, the EIB loan of EUR 73.5 million will put 254 less polluting and more modern vehicles into service, including CNG-powered buses, hybrid vehicles and those powered by electricity. The agreement was signed in Barcelona by EIB head of public sector operations in Spain Joan Basora and TMB Chief Executive Officer Enric Cañas.
The EIB financing will contribute to the replacement of diesel and first generation compressed natural gas vehicles with new, cleaner alternatives.
The new vehicles will be introduced in late-2019 (first 105), in 2020 (another 75) and in 2021 (74). This will enable TMB to accelerate the transition to a zero-emission bus network and to improve service quality and reliability. In addition to improving air quality, the goal is to increase demand for this service to cut private transport use. Barcelona’s public city buses have seen a 17% increase in use over the last six years – transporting 203 million people in 2018 – a figure that is still growing.
Regarding the agreement, EIB Vice-President Emma Navarro, responsible for the Bank’s activities in Spain as well as for climate and the environment, said: “Local residents will be able to enjoy cleaner air thanks to the introduction of these cutting-edge city buses. The agreement will also help create new economic opportunities in the city by improving connections and revitalising certain areas. It is a good example of the EIB’s financing priorities in Spain.”