The EIB has signed a EUR 50 million loan to finance a new, high-capacity bus network in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. This agreement was made possible by the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). The EFSI is the central pillar of the European Commission's Investment Plan for Europe.

In addition to the construction of a new 11.7 kilometre high-capacity bus route, the project will finance the acquisition of 17 new eco-friendly hybrid or electro energy buses, the construction of three new bus stations and a traffic control centre. The plan also includes the construction of new cycling lanes and the improvement and the widening of pavements close to the bus lanes.

More than 1,000 jobs are set to be created during the construction phase of the project. The network is expected to be fully operational by 2021.

This EIB loan will make it possible to improve public transport in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, increasing capacity and making it easier for islanders to use it to move around more quickly,” said EIB Vice-President Román Escolano at the signing ceremony today. “But the agreement signed today will also contribute to investment in a mobility project based on sustainable and environmentally-friendly urban development.”

Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said:  "Cleaner, more efficient urban transport networks improve the vibrancy of cities and the quality of life of their residents. Today's agreement provides another example of how the Investment Plan is making a valuable contribution towards creating a more energy efficient future for Europe. I am also delighted that more than 1,000 jobs will be supported during the construction phase of this major infrastructure project."

“Today's signature concludes a process started with the EIB in 2016 to obtain and sign a loan with favourable terms to finance half of the MetroGuagua project. We are making this a reality now that work is beginning,” said Mayor of Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Augusto Hidalgo, adding that: “this project was drawn up to be economically viable and in line with current planning, and will help to optimise the quality of the urban area through which the infrastructure will run.”

"MetroGuagua, which will connect Hoya de la Plata with Manuel Becerra (75% of daily journeys within the city take place in this area), will not only improve public mobility in the lower part of the city, but will also enable the restructuring of the entire network, providing a better service in the suburbs, where journey and waiting times will be reduced,” explained councillor and chairman of Guaguas Municipales José Eduardo Ramírez.

Note to the editor

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.

The Investment Plan for Europe is one of President Jean-Claude Juncker's top priorities. It focuses on boosting European investments to create jobs and growth by making smarter use of new and existing financial resources, removing obstacles to investment and providing visibility and technical assistance to investment projects.

The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) is the central pillar of the Investment Plan. It provides a first loss guarantee, allowing the EIB to invest in more, often riskier, projects. The EFSI is already showing concrete results. The projects and agreements approved for financing under the EFSI so far are expected to mobilise over EUR 168 billion in total investments and support over 387,000 SMEs across all 28 Member States.

In September 2016, President Juncker proposed to extend the EFSI by increasing its firepower and duration as well as reinforcing its strengths. You can find the latest EFSI figures by sector and by country here.

European Commission: Enda McNamara

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