The southern Indian metropolis of Bangalore will get a major new metro line thanks to a loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) totalling half a billion euros ($445m).
The cash will fund construction of an 18-station line and the purchase of 96 train cars for the second longest urban metro system in India.
It is the biggest-ever EIB loan in India and the biggest ever loan for “sustainable transport outside Europe”, the EIB said.
Part of Phase 2 of Bangalore’s new Namma Metro, which began operating in 2011, the new 22-km line will cut travel times for some city journeys from 2 hours to 15 minutes when it is operational, expected in 2021.
Called Reach 6, the project includes tunnels and elevated tracks and is part of a future rail link to Bangalore Airport.
In another first, China’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is expected support the project in the first ever joint financing between the EIB and AIIB.
“Daily travel for hundreds of thousands people on the Namma Metro will be transformed by expanding urban transport in Bangalore,” said EIB South Asia president Andrew McDowell.
Photograph: The line is part of Phase 2 of Bangalore’s new Namma Metro, pictured here, which began operating in 2011 (Augustus Binu/ www.dreamsparrow.net)