The European Investment Bank (EIB) is granting an initial loan for EUR 100 million (1) to Syndicat Mixte des Transports en Commun de l'agglomération toulousaine (SMTC) for extending Greater Toulouse's metro. The corresponding financing agreement was signed with Mr Jean-Pierre Plancade, President of SMTC, on 15 June 2001.

This loan centres on extension of line A, in operation since 1993, by three additional stations and acquisition of 8 train sets. 

The overall project also includes construction of a second 15.8 km metro line (line B) and 19 new stations, expansion of the Jean Jaurès central station and purchase of additional rolling stock.

These works form part of the Urban Transport Plan for the Greater Toulouse area, which lays down the guidelines for traffic and transport policy in the conurbation up to 2015. VAL technology, already adopted for line A, has been selected for the project as whole owing to its advantages in terms of capacity and service, integration into the local road system and compatibility with the existing network.

Bank support for funding the Toulouse metro, the first line of which the EIB helped to finance in 1989, is consistent with the Bank's policy of continuing to promote dedicated urban transport systems, which serve to reduce pollution and improve quality of life in the urban environment. To this end, over the past five years the EIB has contributed EUR 4.2 million to developing urban transport in Europe. During the last ten years, it has financed in France, inter alia, metros and tramways in Nantes, Saint-Etienne, Strasbourg, Lyons, Montpellier, Rennes and Orleans.

(1) 1 EUR =6.55957 FRF, 0.6114 GBP