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The European Investment Bank has confirmed support for new investment in sustainable urban transport essential for improving lives, strengthening economic growth and unlocking opportunities in cities around the world.

During a site visit to the EIB financed Quito Metro Jan Vapaavuori, Vice President of the European Investment Bank, confirmed that the bank had recently agreed to increase the social and economic impact of investment in city based transport systems around the world and to strengthen lending to smaller and more challenging projects. Vice President Vapaavuori is currently leading a high-level delegation from the European Union’s long-term lending institution attending the UN Habitat III conference

“The European Investment Bank recognises the global importance of sustainable urban development and the crucial contribution to improving the daily life of urban citizens made by projects such as the impressive Quito Metro. Once operational every day more than 400,000 people are expected to benefit from Quito’s first ever metro line. The European Investment Bank is pleased to support this life-changing example of sustainable transport and to back similar schemes around the world. The Quito Metro is a genuine flagship for Ecuador that is being highlighted this week to delegates attending the UN Habitat III conference.” said Vice President Vapaavuori.

Last month the shareholders of the European Investment Bank, the 28 European Union countries, approved a detailed urban lending strategy. This sets out a clear framework for future urban lending and recognises the importance of effective investment in sustainable urban transport to reduce congestion, improve air quality and achieve global climate change targets.

Earlier today Vice President Vapaavuori, together with European Investment Bank and World Bank urban development and transport specialists attending the UN Habitat conference were shown progress at the El Labrador Station by Mauricio Anderson, General Manager of Metro de Quito.

The Vice President also unveiled an EIB map illustrating the importance of sustainable urban transport as a key element of urban investment that illustrates the Quito Metro as an example for other cities to follow.

In 2012 the European Investment Bank agreed to provide EUR 200 million for construction of Quito’s first metro line. This represented EIB’s the first ever loan to the government of Ecuador. The project is also supported by the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, Corporacion Andina de Formento.

Once operational the Quito Metro Line One will address the growing demand for public transport in Quito and reduce travel times and lower transport costs, as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pollution.

The European Investment Bank is the world’s largest international public bank and over the last five years has provided EUR 18.5 billion for investment in sustainable transport in towns and cities across Europe and around the world. These include schemes to improve public transport in Sao Paolo, Cairo, Istanbul, London, Budapest and Helsinki.