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Proparco granted a €24 million (COP 75 billion) loan to Colombia’s SOTRAMAC to finance an ambitious and innovative urban public transport project in Cartagena de Indias. This loan will help SOTRAMAC deploy a fleet of 222 buses, running with compressed natural gas, which will form part of the new unified TransCaribe network.

Proparco granted a €24 million (COP 75 billion) loan to Colombia’s SOTRAMAC to finance an ambitious and innovative urban public transport project in Cartagena de Indias. This loan will help SOTRAMAC deploy a fleet of 222 buses, running with compressed natural gas, which will form part of the new unified TransCaribe network.

A modern public transport system for Colombia’s 5th largest city

Cartagena’s traditional public transport system, consisting of 1,500+ private independent buses, suffers from the absence of technical and commercial integration. Following the example of other major Colombian cities, Cartagena designed a new, more efficient Bus Rapid Transit network and started deploying it in 2015.

This new network will offer safer and faster rides to its clients while using less than half as many buses as before. The replacement of old buses and reduction in traffic will also result in a 60% reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, preventing some 33 000 teqCO2 from being emitted every year.

A pioneering operation for Proparco

Granted in Colombian Peso (COP), this operation is both Proparco’s first loan in the country and a new illustration of its ability to extend loans in local currency to better answer its clients’ needs.

This new intervention in the urban public transport field quickly followed a recent loan granted to help SA Taxi to put new and safer vehicles on Johannesburg’s roads to service the millions of commuters who use minibus transport every day.