Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 7 / Trend E. Kosolapova/
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Kazakh city of Almaty have signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at the development of a new light rail system in the centre of Kazakhstan's biggest city, the EBRD reported.
"The agreement envisages a project with an estimated cost of $ 300 million. It will cover construction of about 14 kilometers of light rail tracks to replace the existing tram route and will also finance new rolling stock and equipment," the bank said.
According to the bank, the future light rail, also known as fast tram, will be faster and cheaper to build than a metro and will serve as the backbone of the rest of the surface public transport system in the city.
"Implementation of this project is aimed at improvement of the urban transport system of Almaty by developing environmentally friendly modern electrical transport. The project will result in a better quality of passenger transportation as well as a lower level of emissions," Almaty's head Akhmetjan Esimov said said at the signing.
This project will be the first major public-private partnership (PPP) transaction in urban transport to be launched in Kazakhstan. The EBRD will seek grants to cover costs for legal and technical advisers to assist the city of Almaty with drafting PPP documents.
"The EBRD has also invested in other urban transport projects in Kazakhstan, in particular the Almaty buses and trolleybuses," the bank said.