First EBRD-financed buses arrive in Osh in south Kyrgyzstan

OSH, Kyrgyzstan (TCA) — 30 brand new buses have arrived in Osh, the southern capital of Kyrgyzstan. The buses are part of a project financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) that aims to boost safe and accessible public transport services in the city. It will also include the purchase of 24 low-floor, accessible trolley buses in the near future and pay for the modernisation of the municipal depot, the EBRD said.

The EBRD has provided total financing of over €10 million to the project which is intended to double the number of passengers for the municipal Osh Auto Transport Company.

The total package consisted of a €5.7 million sovereign loan and a €3.1 million investment grant from the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund, while €1.2 million is being spent on technical cooperation programmes also financed by EBRD grants. The programmes include the introduction of a new automated fare-collection system, as well as a corporate development plan for the company and a gender inclusion plan.

At a ceremony in Osh on December 9, EBRD Director for Central Asia, Neil McKain, said: “I am very proud to see these high-capacity buses arrive today. Reliable and safe public transport is crucial for people’s quality of life. I am also pleased that this investment will particularly benefit women in several ways: by providing safer, spacious buses, and in the near future, low-floor trolley buses too, which will be able to accommodate children’s buggies, as well as by introducing an innovative programme of gender inclusion in the workforce.”

The Mayor of Osh, Aitmamat Kadyrbaev, said: “This project will allow us to add new buses and trolley buses to our transport fleet. We will also improve the trolley bus infrastructure and the depot. Thirty new, low-floor accessible buses are a wonderful New Year’s present to the citizens of Osh.”

The EBRD-supported gender advisory services programme will see the city’s authorities and the Osh Auto Transport Company work together to offer improved job and career growth opportunities to women in the company. The action plan, which the firm is about to start implementing, includes activities that range from amending company human resources policies and practices to bolster equal opportunities to gender-sensitive recruitment practices with a special focus on recruiting and training female bus and trolley-bus drivers who are currently underrepresented at the company.

Sergey Kwan


Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

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