THE Ministry of Transport of the Canton of Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Stadler signed a €34.74m contract for the procurement of 15 LRVs to replace the region’s obsolete tram fleet on September 1.

The contract signature ceremony was attended by representatives of the local government, the Swiss embassy and Stadler, as well as the European Investment Bank (EIB) and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The banks are funding the purchase as part of a programme to improve the urban transport network in the canton through the modernisation of the light rail and trolleybus networks. This includes extending the lines and replacing the vehicles, with the region also purchasing 25 new trolleybuses.

The new three-section low-floor LRVs have capacity for 180 passengers, including 79 seated, and feature well-lit passenger compartments, air-conditioning, a passenger information system, USB ports, and internal and external CCTV. The LRVs have a maximum speed of 70km/h.

The first vehicle is due to be delivered in 2023, with the rest of the fleet delivered by 2024.

“The citizens of Sarajevo will feel the significance of today's agreement when, after a decade of waiting, they finally get the public transport they deserve,” says minister of transport of the Sarajevo, Mr Adnan Steta. “With the reconstruction of the tram line, the purchase of trolleybuses and trams, we continue with large projects and investments that will create a new, modern face of Sarajevo. We are working on expanding the tram network towards Hrasnica and the trolleybus network towards Vogošća. We calculate that by the end of 2025, we will be able to renew the full capacity of public transport as well as the necessary transport infrastructure.”

The EIB has already allocated €40m in 2021 for the programme that will help tackle issues facing the region, including air pollution, traffic congestion and safety.

“We are glad to see EIB investments are directly changing people’s lives for the better,” says EIB representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, Ms Sandrine Friscia. “New trams will help reduce commuting times and the number of traffic accidents, thus improving living conditions for everyone. At the same time, they will lower the level of noise and pollution in the city, which will bring us closer to fulfilment of the EU Strategy for the Western Balkans and the EIB climate goals.”

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