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EU lends Brussels €475m for sustainable public transport

A tram in Brussels (Pictura/Dreamstime)
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has given a €475m loan to the Brussels Capital Region to fund a scheme intended to make public transport more attractive than driving in the city.

Brussels has 17 tram lines, 66 bus routes and four metro lines. The money will be spent on adding 94 electric buses, 90 trams and 43 metro trains to these networks, as well as the renovation of 63km of tram and metro track.

By 2023, the Brussels Intercommunal Transport Company hopes to reduce carbon emissions by 39% when compared with 2010.

The 162 sq km Brussels-Capital Region is one of Belgium’s three regions, comprising 19 municipalities and a population of 1.2 million.

Elke van den Brandt, regional minister for mobility, said: “One sixth of our annual budget is invested in mobility: increasing the frequency and capacity of public transportation, building cycling and walking infrastructure, and investing in road safety.

“Next to the modal shift, where we convince people to use alternatives to the personal car, we are also deploying a motor shift, to ensure fossil fuels are replaced by more sustainable alternatives.”

Kris Peeters, EIB’s vice-president, said: “This is an historical first financial partnership between the EIB and the Brussels Capital Region. It highlights the alignment of priorities between the EIB and the region in our climate change mitigation and carbon reduction efforts.’

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