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Armenia is the 21st Country to Work with CDIA on Infrastructure Development

August 6, 2020
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On 15 July 2020, the CDIA Trust Fund Management approved Yerevan Municipality’s application for a public transport network project, making Armenia the 21st country to receive infrastructure development assistance from CDIA.

“We are excited to be working with the Yerevan government to improve the reliability, comfort and efficiency of their public transport system, to make it attractive for their residents,” says CDIA Urban Development Specialist Fabienne Perucca, who will manage the Armenia project preparation study (PPS).

Yerevan’s commuters have the option of using local buses, including trolleys and minibuses, and the underground metro system. While Yerevan’s bus fleet has been updated in recent years, the minibuses remain outdated and majority of them will be phased out in the coming years. Meanwhile, the city’s walking infrastructure is of poor quality, as pedestrian footpaths, underground walkways and road crossings are in need of repair and improvement. Air pollution has also become a concern for the city’s residents, and the transport sector is a major source of pollution.

These challenges, coupled with inadequate transport service and quality standards, an inefficient transport network operation and traffic management have prompted the government to shift to more sustainable forms of mobility.

Yerevan’s leadership says they intend to implement a new integrated urban transport network this year, following the recently developed “New Bus Network and Integrated Tariff and Ticketing System Study”. They will be ordering a new fleet of 100 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) 12-meter buses (with cleaner fuels), with the support of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

The city government has also prioritized the rehabilitation of the city’s bus depots. This project is designed and financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) under its Sustainable Urban Development Investment Program (SUDIP).

“It is in light of SUDIP and these new and exciting developments,” says Fabienne, “that CDIA is set to provide advisory support to implement their new network and build the overall capacity of Yerevan to actualize their vision of a more integrated and sustainable urban mobility.”

In particular, CDIA experts will help enhance the decision-making capacities of the local officials overseeing the implementation of the new bus network. They will also recommend strategic measures for the phased implementation of the integrated network; and undertake preliminary engineering design work to prepare efficient bus routes for the new fleet of buses. A sub-component on air quality monitoring will also be included in the PPS.

In February, key officials of Yerevan Municipality and the national government of Armenia participated in a city-to-city learning exchange with Tbilisi (Georgia) to share insights and experiences on implementing public transport reforms. CDIA supported ADB in facilitating the learning exchange.

“It was through the visit that Yerevan’s officials were able to understand the extent, and appreciate the value of CDIA’s advisory support to Tbilisi City,” says Fabienne. “It encouraged them to submit an application for a similar initiative.”

Yerevan Municipality is expected to take on the recommendations that will be developed through the CDIA study. ADB and Agence Francaise de Developpement have also expressed interest in using the outputs of the study to shape their possible additional support to the city, whether under the form of investment or technical assistance.

“Yerevan’s shift to sustainable mobility will have positive impacts on the environment and public health; and in curbing greenhouse gas emission,” adds Fabienne. “Urban poor, women and elderly will also greatly benefit from reduced journey time and improved system access.”

CDIA’s assistance to the new public transport project will begin in Yerevan in November 2020.

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Click here for related story: ADB, CDIA Facilitate City-to-City Learning Exchange on Urban Mobility in South Caucasus

Featured photo courtesy of: Asian Development Bank

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