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EU funding opportunities for public transport

European Investment Bank instruments

The EIB has been providing long-term finance, mainly in loans and guarantees, to support the development of urban and regional transport networks across and beyond Europe. Its Transport Lending Policy puts forward the guiding principles and selection criteria that drive EIB’s financing and lending strategy towards the mobility sector, including support for urban public transport. The EIB also supports projects through a wide variety of financial instruments and financial and technical advisory via different initiatives and organisations.

The transport sector constitutes a significant part of EIB investments. From 2016 to 2020, the EIB invested close to €20 billion in transport modes – €4 billion a year on average. EIB loans can cover up to 50% (75% in the case of TEN-T projects) of the total investment cost. Furthermore, indirect loans, innovative financial instruments and private equity funds are used to stimulate and catalyse private capital through investments in equity funds devoted to transport infrastructure. EIB can also support priority projects (up to €300 million) with a high-risk profile under its Structured Finance Facility.

The promotion of sustainable urban mobility (including active modes like walking and cycling) is extensively supported by the EIB in coherence with EU policy. Projects are expected to help in reducing congestion and negative environmental externalities whilst also delivering wider social and economic benefits through either, the promotion of a modal shift from private cars to more sustainable transport modes and/or improvements in transport efficiency, including intermodality, automation, digitalization and conversion to zero-emission vehicles. The Bank offers also advisory support through JASPERS, ELENA and the EIAH to tackle investment barriers in the sector and to improve the quality and soundness of projects.

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