New Izmir metro line project secures €125m funding

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Izmir from above

EBRD agrees loan for the first phase of metro construction in Turkey’s third-largest city.

As part of Izmir’s Green City Action Plan, a new metro line is set to be built to help provide safer, more reliable and greener transport for around 500,000 residents in the district of Buca.

Enhancing the rail network is part of the plan developed by the municipality together with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) as part of the bank’s Green Cities programme, which Izmir joined in 2018. Since then it has developed a comprehensive step-by-step investment programme to address the city’s most pressing environmental challenges.

The EBRD is supporting the first phase of construction with a €125 million loan and Mayor of Izmir, Tunc Soyer, said: “Our project will radically solve the traffic problem of Buca, the most congested district of our city. The new metro line will connect with other urban transport links, promote modern, fast, eco-friendly and safe commute, create employment and attract investors.”

Arvid Tuerkner, EBRD managing director for Turkey, added: “I am pleased to see Izmir’s dedication to achieving greater sustainability and improving the urban environment for the 4.4 million people who live in this great city.”

The new metro line will connect with municipal bus, suburban rail and tram networks and help replace more polluting modes of transport, such as private cars and minibuses. It will further reduce traffic congestion and noise pollution and is expected to almost halve the area’s greenhouse gas emissions from current levels.

The new loan builds on the EBRD’s long-term cooperation with the city, where it has previously financed infrastructure projects worth a total of €159m. These include the previous construction of the 7.2km Fahrettin Altay-Narlidere-Kaymakamlik metro line along the city’s east-west corridor and the financing of five new car ferries.