Mersin Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Vahap Seçer and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Turkey, Middle East and Africa Infrastructure Director Sue Barrett signed grant and loan agreements for the purchase of 70 12-meter solo buses and 30 18-meter articulated CNG buses. In this way, 100 more buses with CNG will join the fleet of Mersin Metropolitan Municipality. President Seçer said, “EBRD has chosen a very accurate city: Mersin. When two institutions that take their job seriously come together, the results will be very valuable for humanity," he said.
Metropolitan's public transport fleet is being renewed
Of the total support of 22 million Euros provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, 15 million Euros was given as a loan and 7 million Euro as a grant. The loan of 15 million Euros will be paid in a total of 2 years, with 8 years of non-repayment and 10 years of repayment. With the financing provided by the EBRD, the aging public transport fleet will be renewed. With a total of 100 new CNG buses running on clean energy, Mersin residents will enjoy environmentally friendly, modern and comfortable public transportation services. Modern buses powered by CNG will help ensure fuel efficiency, low maintenance costs, fewer vehicle breakdowns and a low carbon footprint. Compared to the diesel buses currently in use, the new fleet will prevent the emission of an average of 20 tons of carbon dioxide per year.
Seçer: “EBRD has chosen a very accurate city: Mersin”
At the signing ceremony held via Zoom; Mersin Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Vahap Seçer, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Turkey, Middle East and Africa Infrastructure Director Sue Barrett, EBRD officials, Metropolitan Municipality bureaucrats, heads of departments and branch managers took part. President Seçer stated that the teams did a good job and said:
“The EBRD has chosen a very accurate city: Mersin. We hope to see you here very soon. We would like you to get to know Mersin closely. It is possible to see the traces of world history and the traces of human history here. You can see all the civilizations, empires and the history of religions symbolized here. Our city is a city that offers many opportunities to the people living here. You have included us in the green cities category, thank you very much. Mersin is really a very green city. Half of Mersin hinterland is covered with forests. A significant part of the other half has agricultural lands where the most valuable fruits and vegetables that can be grown in the world are grown. Mersin has the most strategic port in the Eastern Mediterranean and the largest port in Turkey. The city, which has such important values and potential, is a city that is also dealing with the refugee problem, which corresponds to approximately 20% of its population, and carries the burden of it. In fact, the reference of the financing agreement, which we will put under protocol today, is the refugees living here. Of course, it is a city that can be self-sufficient based on the city's own revenues. But the influx of refugees, which has surprisingly amounted to one fifth of the city for the last 10 years, has had traumatic effects on us. That's why I said; 'The EBRD team has chosen a very accurate city: Mersin.' I congratulate your team, I say it to show how accurate and admirable work they are doing.”
“We do not look at public transport as a commercial activity”
Stating that they have been on duty for 2,5 years, Seçer said, “We do not look at public transportation as a commercial activity. We see it as a comfortable service that we provide to priority people in order to exercise this right arising from the right to travel. We serve approximately 2.3 million people in Mersin, including refugees and local population. As of now, we continue this service with 332 public transportation vehicles. But we are aware that we need to add new vehicles to our additional fleet and our annual passenger carrying capacity is 33 million.” Reminding that they will lay the foundation of Mersin Metro in 1 month to solve the transportation problem of the city, Seçer said, “The first stage of this 34-kilometer project is the 13.4-kilometer underground metro. When the construction of the 2nd and 3rd Stages, consisting of a tram and a level rail system, is completed, an enormous rail system will be brought to Mersin. kazanwe will have risen. You are aware that I am talking about a project worth approximately 1 billion Euros. I hope this will add value to our city," he said.
“When two institutions that take their job seriously come together, the results will be very valuable”
President Seçer mentioned that their transportation vision is to create a cheap, comfortable, fast and reliable public transportation system, and continued as follows:
“Of course, public transportation is not an additional problem area created by the refugees in our city, but I can say that we have important problems in many areas, especially in infrastructure areas. I can say that when our new buses arrive, they will provide a very important comfort to our public transportation area. That's why we thank you. I know that you, as the EBRD, have been operating in Turkey since 2009. I also know about your important support or collaborations for both the public and private sectors. Working with you is very important and valuable for us. Because you have a financial and corporate structure that is effective, prestigious and does its job well. As the new Municipality administration, we are in the desire and effort to make our work serious, effective and sustainable. When two institutions that take their job seriously come together, the results will probably be very valuable for humanity. We want you to contribute to our projects, as you have done so far, and I look forward to seeing you in Mersin as soon as possible. Check your schedules, please take Mersin forward. I would like to give a note here that Mersin is beautiful in every season. We also desire to cooperate with our new environmentally friendly projects, and I want you to see our sincerity here. With the protocol that we will sign a little later, a total of 70 buses, approximately 12 of which are 30-meter and 18 of which are 100-meter articulated buses, will be added to our fleet. kazanwe will have risen. I am grateful to all our colleagues who contributed to this study. Thank you very much. I offer my deepest love to all of you, with the hope of being able to do very valuable work in the future.”
Barrett: “A proud day for the EBRD”
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Turkey, Middle East and Africa Infrastructure Director Sue Barrett said, “I am very happy to sign a contract for the loan and grant of 100 CNG buses here today. Our loan is 15 million, 7 million is a contract in the form of a grant. Today is actually a proud day for the EBRD and I would like to say that Mersin is not actually a new city for us. Because we provided a grant of 10 million Euros for infrastructure and sewerage about 18 years ago, and of course, we are very happy to see this system working now. I would like to thank everyone very much for this excellent collaboration, for working this way from the very beginning. Of course, this work will lead to the arrival of new projects," he said.
“The scope of our project is to increase the resilience of municipalities in cities affected by migration”
Stating that CNG buses have a direct impact on the lives of citizens, Barrett said, “Of course, we will provide a better service this way and realize a greener project. Because CNG buses emit less emissions. These new CNG buses will actually reduce the burden we have on public transport. Of course, when we consider the refugees in your city, it will lighten your load. Of course, cities like Mersin, which receive so much immigration, are considered important by multilateral banks. At this point, the scope of our project is actually to increase the resilience of municipalities in cities affected by migration.”
“Mersin is our 3rd city affected by refugees”
Stating that they are fully aware of the burden on public transportation and that they are trying to support it with grants and loans in this framework, Barrett said, “Actually, the purpose of this fund is to expand the investment area in cities affected by refugees and to provide people with a more comfortable service and a service that suits their purchasing power. After Gaziantep and Hatay, Mersin is among our 3rd city affected by refugees. This refugee funding agreement expires this year, but we still hope to continue working with you. I would like to wholeheartedly congratulate the EBRD team and the Mersin team. This team; In fact, it is the team that ensures that these works are carried out, completed and that this signature is signed today.”
After signing, Barrett said, “Thank you very much to everyone. We really did a great job. I am looking forward to coming to Mersin. I congratulate everyone again”, while President Seçer said, “I am waiting in a very short time. Take very good care of yourself,” he said.