Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, is to receive technical support funding from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to rebuild and expand its tramway network, badly damaged by the effects of the current conflict with Russia.
Public transport in Kharkiv has been particularly affected by military attacks on the city, with claims from the city’s authorities that strikes have been particularly targeted on the metro and tramway. Saltiwśke tram depot was destroyed by rocket strikes in early March, with local media showing many of the city’s Tatra cars (dating from the 1970s onwards) beyond repair.
The EIB has allocated an initial EUR400 000 for the preparation of tenders for new trams and to rebuild the destroyed tram infrastructure. The bank has also stated that it does not rule out supporting the procurement of new vehicles, if the conditions allow for their implementation.
“We need to be ready to start rebuilding Ukraine on the first day it wins this war. This means we need to start preparing reconstruction plans right now,” commented Teresa Czerwińska, Vice-President of the EIB.
Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terehov added: “This will be a major renewal and expansion of the tram system, which the city has not carried out in the past 30 years… Kharkiv and our tram depot need proper experience and skills in preparing such investments. Technical assistance support is very important to reducing any risks in the preparation and implementation of the project in a sound and timely manner. After hostilities have ended, the city of Kharkiv and its public transport will be even better than it used to be.”
In 2017, the EIB provided a loan of EUR160m provided for expansion of the city’s metro, EUR10m for the purchase of new trolleybuses fleet, and EUR45m for new metro trains.