US$100 mln to support urban transport Argentina
Washington, United States of America – The World Bank’s Board of Directors 2007-03-27 approved a US$100 million loan in additional financing for Argentina to support the Buenos Aires Urban Transport Project in completing ongoing activities related to improving urban transport services in the City of Buenos Aires and the metropolitan area. The loan will be a first step in developing an integrated urban transport system and improving traffic safety in the Greater Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area (AMBA), home to almost 14 million people.
“The World Bank has supported this important project for Buenos Aires over the last 10 years. Implementation suffered during the crisis years, but with the recovery starting in 2003, the project teams have been able to strongly reactivate the project implementation. With most of the project now executed, we realize that much more needs to be done. For this reason, the additional financing will complete many works that will help improve transport services,” said Axel van Trotsenburg, World Bank Director for Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay.
Specifically, the additional financing for the US$200 million Buenos Aires Urban Transport Project, originally approved in 1997, will support the following activities:
- Develop an Urban Transport Integration System by improving the pavement of roads and sidewalks, and by adding lights and urban furniture at selected outlying metropolitan railway stations of municipalities with the highest poverty rates. The program seeks to improve public transport access for pedestrians and other non-motorized and public transport users. The World Bank will also support the creation of the Metropolitan Transport Agency for the AMBA, which will coordinate public transport sector activities;
- Enhance traffic safety by converting or building new underpasses or bridges in seven selected road or rail crossings;
- Strengthen the institutional framework by carrying out a household transport survey and an inventory of the bus transport system operating within the AMBA, among other initiatives. In addition, technical assistance and training provision will be provided to the cities of Cordoba, Mendoza, Posadas, Rosario and Tucuman in order to expand the development of integrated urban transport strategies;
- Improve Buenos Aires subway infrastructure by supporting rehabilitation works for selected stations in the A-Line Buenos Aires subway system.
“The new resources build on the success of the original project driven by the Secretariat of Transport of the Federal Government,” said Andres Pizarro, World Bank task manager for the project. “The program has had a very positive impact on road safety in densely populated areas such as Tres de Febrero, San Fernando/Tigre, and Avellaneda,” he added.
“The project also has had a very significant impact revamping the infrastructure of Line A of the subway system, which is the oldest subway line in South America and carries about 40 million passengers per year,” said Juan Gaviria, World Bank Sector Leader for Infrastructure.
The additional financing is consistent with the World Bank’s US$3.3 billion 2006-2008 Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) for Argentina, approved by the Board of Directors in June 2006. This strategy focuses on three pillars —sustained growth with equity, social inclusion and improved governance—, that make up 100 percent of investment loans.
The new US$100 million single currency, fixed-spread loan is repayable in 15 years, and includes 5 years of grace.
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