EBRD financed Tbilisi Public Transport Project
Study | 1 March 2008
Tbilisi, with a population of more than 1.5 million people, manifests all the signs of environmental stress – poor air quality, excessive noise, traffic congestion, loss of green areas and degradation of historical buildings and monuments. Road transport is responsible for an increasing share of total air emissions, their contribution rising from some 70 percent in 1991 to about 91 percent in 2005. In July 2005, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development lent EUR 3 million to the "Municipal Auto Transport Company Ltd". The project was aiming to purchase 150 municipal buses, spare parts and workshop equipment and reform the regulatory framework for public transport in Tbilisi. However, the implementation of the project has actually led to increased environmental and social stress, while the development of a sustainable public transport scheme that would mitigate existing problems is still not defined.
There is much to be done in order to reform the public transport management system in a way which responds to the needs of Tbilisis citizens but the top priority should be given to the development and public discussion of a Tbilisi City Sustainable Transport Management Plan and undertaking a social assessment to identify mitigation measures for vulnerable people.