IKI backs new tram line in Ukraine

New decorated tram and a crowd of people

The opening of the tram line between the city of Lviv and the Sykhiv district in Ukraine; Photo: Irina Rewunowa/ZAXID.NET

A new tram line in Lviv was officially opened on 17 November 2016. Two projects financed by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Environment Ministry (BMUB) were involved in the planning and construction of the line.

In 2009 the IKI project “Modernisation of Public Transport in Lviv”, which is being implemented by KfW (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau), developed recommendations for transport planning and concrete investment measures. These formed the basis of plans for a tram line financed by BMUB, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the city of Lviv. Now up and running, the line connects the centre of Lviv, which with 730,000 inhabitants is the biggest city in western Ukraine, with the district of Sykhiv.

Planning for the large district of Sykhiv got underway back in the 1970s and space was reserved for the tram line. Following the construction of the district in the 1990s, however, a lack of funding meant the tram line was not built. The area was primarily served by marshrutkas (minibuses) as well as trolleybuses and full-size buses operated by municipal enterprises. The project for building a tram line to Sykhiv was initially introduced in 2008 during preparations for the 2012 European Football Championship in Lviv and was then pursued by BMUB together with EBRD and the city of Lviv.

The upgraded public transport system and an increase in the number of people leaving their own vehicles at home in favour of public transport is expected to lower emissions and improve local air quality. Furthermore, better mobility will help to boost employment and local economic development.

The successful expansion of the public transport system will also serve as a model for other Ukrainian cities. EBRD was responsible for the implementation of the project.