Mr François Rebsamen, Dijon’s Senator and Mayor and President of Greater Dijon, and Mr Philippe de Fontaine Vive Curtaz, EIB Vice-President, today signed the first EUR 100m finance contract for the construction of Dijon’s first two tramway lines. The EIB’s involvement in this project will eventually amount to EUR 200m, out of a total investment estimated at between EUR 400m and 450m.

This project is aimed at providing Greater Dijon with a public transport infrastructure that will meet the travel requirements of the people who live there on a sustainable basis but also contribute to the Communauté d’Agglomération’s economic development. It is a large-scale project that will benefit more than 250 000 inhabitants of Greater Dijon every day, both students and those travelling to and from work.

The EIB finance, totalling EUR 200m, will cover the following items:

  • the construction of Dijon’s first two tramway lines (A and B), with 34 stations, extending over a total distance of 18.9 km. These new lines will provide a frequent service, covering the SNCF station and the main residential districts and areas of economic activity in the suburbs, Quetigny and Chenôve, and the University of Burgundy campus, the Grésilles and Toison d’Or districts and the new  commercial centre in Valmy;
  • the acquisition of 32 tram sets;
  • the construction of two park and ride facilities.

Mr Rebsamen said: “I am very pleased about this quality partnership with an institution that is able to support the public authorities, particularly with regard to projects such as the Greater Dijon tramway that serve the local inhabitants, while adhering fully to the relevant environmental requirements.”

Mr de Fontaine Vive also expressed his satisfaction with the fact that this contract was being signed, saying: “I am very glad that the EIB is joining forces with Greater Dijon to build these two tramway lines that are essential for the development of the city. Sustainable urban transport is an EU priority and a crucial component of the economic, social and human development that will contribute directly towards improving the daily quality of life of the inhabitants.”

This loan is another example of the EIB’s ongoing priority operations being carried out in France. In 2009 alone, more than EUR 1bn was devoted to the modernisation of public transport. Thus the EIB was involved, in 2009, in urban transport projects in Lyon and Bordeaux, as well as in Paris for the extension of the city’s tramway in the capital’s eastern districts, between Porte d’Ivry and Porte de la Chapelle.

Note to editors:

The EIB and its involvement in urban transport

The finance provided by the EIB for public transport systems within dedicated corridors should be seen in the context of the Bank’s action to promote sustainable urban development with the aim of reducing pollution and improving the quality of life in urban areas. The EIB has provided support for numerous urban transport projects, such as those in Bordeaux, Clermont-Ferrand, Grenoble, Le Mans, Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier, Mulhouse, Nancy, Nantes, Nice, Orléans, Paris, Reims, Strasbourg, Toulon, Toulouse and Valenciennes. Over the past ten years the finance provided by the EIB for urban transport totals EUR 4bn in France and EUR 23.7bn within the European Union, the projects financed including those in Athens, Alicante, Barcelona, Bilbao, Brussels, Berlin, Valencia, Lisbon, London, Madrid, Munich, Düsseldorf, Manchester, Dublin, Budapest and Prague.

The EIB is the bank of the European Union. Its remit is to provide mainly long-term loans to support viable investment projects, both private and public, aimed at EU integration, cohesion and development and based on six priority policies: economic and social cohesion; the protection of the natural and urban environment; research and innovation; support for SMEs; trans-European transport networks; and the promotion of secure, competitive and sustainable energy supplies. In 2009, it provided finance totalling EUR 70bn within the European Union, an increase of 36% compared with the EUR 51.7bn lent in 2008, and, in order to support the economy in dealing with the crisis, provided finance totalling EUR 79bn for local authorities and businesses both within and outside the European Union.