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Transport is key to growth and competitiveness, as it provides the physical networks that enable the movement of people and goods. Better mobility achieves social cohesion, economic growth and employment. It provides access to jobs and social infrastructure such as hospitals and education that contribute to the betterment of people’s lives.

Transport is by far the largest sector in which the European Investment Bank (EIB) has been active since its foundation.

The EIB finances urban mobilityrailaviationmaritime and road projects that are:

We also support research, development and innovation projects aimed at making transport efficient, economic and sustainable.

Discover some of our transport projects through our case studies and stories and read more about our approach and priorities as well as our wide range of products to finance transport projects. 

In 2015, we invested EUR 14bn in transport projects in the EU that will…


We support a range project types across the transport sector, including:

  • Urban mobility

urban mobilityConstruction and extension/rehabilitation of public transport networks such as metro and tramway lines, and rapid transit bus systems; acquisition of rolling stock and buses; promotion of cycling and pedestrian networks; development of intelligent traffic management and information systems to improve public transport, such as electronic ticketing, traffic management and communication systems.


  • Rail

railRehabilitation, upgrading or electrification of existing lines; construction of new lines, signaling systems and intermodal terminals; financing of rolling stock for freight and passenger services, both conventional and high-speed.


  • Aviation

airWe support airport development projects to improve existing facilities and/or build new facilities to increase capacity and operational efficiency, improve aviation safety and service standards; upgrading and extension of air traffic management systems to improve capacity and align with Single European Sky requirements; aircraft manufacturing research, development and innovation projects; and the acquisition of aircraft, when there is strong financial and economic value added, when the aircraft are being used to safeguard  the territorial integrity of the EU and where there is  improved environmental performance over and above the aircraft being replaced.


  • Maritime and Waterborne

MaritimeConstruction and rehabilitation/extension projects for ports and logistic centers; inland water transport projects such as rehabilitation/expansion of waterways or inland ports; in terms of shipping, we finance the acquisition of new vessels to either extend fleet capacity or to replace older vessels.


  • Road

roadLending in the roads sector focuses on the Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-T) where we finance motorways, high-quality roads and related infrastructure; road projects in less developed regions and outside the EU in countries where the EIB has been given an external mandate; road improvement projects including improvements to road safety, security for heavy goods vehicles, traffic management or development of alternative fuels. We also support the rehabilitation of the road network to ensure that the long term economic benefits are sustained and that the safety of users is not compromised.


  • Climate-friendly transport

In line with EU policy, we prioritise investment in public transport and railways, inland waterways and short sea shipping projects because they do most to reduce greenhouse gas emission per transport unit.  We are also actively seeking ways of supporting the deployment of alternative fuels.

  • Sustainable and safe mobility

The EIB promotes mobility that is economically, socially and environmentally sustainable. The development of sustainable urban transport and urban nodes, as well as road safety, are key priorities for the EIB. In urban centres, sustainable transport significantly improves the quality of life by reducing congestion, helping to reduce pollution levels and travel times. Our investments also reduce accident rates and improve safety. 

  • Innovative solutions

Innovation, including innovation for transport, is high on the agenda of the EIB for the achievement of the long-term competitiveness of the EU. We invest in research and development projects and the deployment of new technologiy that makes transport more efficient and safer.

Case studies

Maritime and Waterborne: Better road and rail access to Spanish ports

Seamless connectivity between different transport modes is crucial to fully realise the benefits of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T). In Spain, an EIB loan of EUR 105m will finance small road and railway projects aimed at improving access to national ports. Without the loan, these projects would not have been financed until 2020. The Bank’s support will enable the Spanish ports to handle the optimal capacity of cargo and passengers, contributing to sustainable growth and employment in the respective regions.

Aviation: Supporting connectivity in Croatia

The EIB is providing more than EUR 17 million to support the development of Dubrovnik Airport in Croatia. Alongside EU structural funds, the EIB loan will finance the expansion and upgrading of the airport to cater for future growth in traffic and enhance safety and service standards. Part of the TEN-T network, Dubrovnik Airport is the key gateway to this geographically isolated region of Croatia. JASPERS, a technical assistance partnership managed by the EIB, supported the preparation of the project and the application for structural funding.

Urban: Investing in Krakow’s tram system

The EIB is committed to encouraging sustainable urban transport. In Poland, the EU bank is providing a loan of EUR 20m to bring Krakow’s urban trams up to speed. The project builds on the EIB’s past EUR 38m investment in Krakow’s tramway network. The new loan provides financing to modernise and extend the network, purchase 24 new trams and install new ticketing machines. The EIB funding will help improve the comfort, reliability and speed of the tram service, making public transport an attractive alternative to private transport.

Roads: Better safety for Italy’s roads

The EIB is providing EUR 300 million in loans to ANAS, the state-controlled company responsible for constructing and maintaining Italy’s motorway and national road network. By constructing road safety, noise barriers, equipment and tunnel improvements on 156 national roads and 13 motorway sections of the road network (a total of 5 800 km), the project will improve road safety and reduce pollution . As the roads and motorway sections are heavily used, the project is expected to deliver significant benefits in terms of reduced traffic congestion and fewer accidents, injuries and fatalities.

Rail: Improving the quality of passenger train rolling stock in Germany

Following the crisis, private rail operators  face difficulties in accessing financing for rolling stock. Therefore, the State Government of Baden-Wuerttemberg put into place a tender that facilitated competition and enabled smaller transport service providers to bid for the contract. This ensured that their strategy for increased mobility through the development of a sustainable transport network could be realized at lower costs to taxpayers.

The EIBsigned two first loans of EUR 300m in 2015 to the Federal State of Baden-Wuerttemberg to purchase trains to operate on the Stuttgart regional rail network. The trains will be leased to transport service providers who otherwise might have been excluded from competition. The project is key to facilitating a modal shift from cars to public transport within an urban area.  Currently, the network transports around 20 million commuters each year. The new trains will allow local and regional services to be extended.



  • Project loans to finance a transport project or programme with a total investment cost in excess of EUR 25 million. The Bank does not cover more than 50% of the total project cost. Recent examples include the development of the Dublin port. 
  • Intermediated loans enable us to provide loans to local banks and other intermediaries which then lend-on to the final beneficiaries. For example, we financed a loan which enabled the Baden-Württemberg region to buy trains and lease them to service operators who otherwise would have been excluded from the project tender
  • Framework loans allow us to finance transport schemes with a total investment cost of less than EUR 25 million by combining several projects under one loan. The renewal and upgrade of Madrid’s metro network was financed via a framework loan
  • Infrastructure equity funds catalyze investment in transport by making capital-intensive investments


  • Project Bond Initiative is a joint initiative by the EIB and EC to facilitate access to finance by  offering a credit enhancement to help project promoters to attract additional private finance from institutional investors such as insurance companies and pension funds.
  • Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) allows us to develop innovative financial instruments to finance a range of projects. An example is the Green Shipping Guarantee Programmme. We are also developing tools in other sectors.
  • Loan guarantee instrument (LGTT) allows us to cover revenue risks in the early stages of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) transport projects to facilitate more private sector involvement in the financing of TEN-T. The A11 Brugge motorway is an example of our work in this field.



Ukraine tunnel reflects boost in EU ties

A new tunnel is under way beside the decrepit old one in Beskyd, a beautiful, remote area 100 km from Lviv. The 1.8 km tunnel’s two ends connected earlier this year. By early 2018, with its lining and tracks complete, the new tunnel is expected to handle 60% of transit freight from Ukraine to Central Europe. The EIB signed a EUR 55 million loan for the project in May 2014.

Pink Hard-hat on the Panama Canal

Ilya Espino de Marotta is the Panama Canal Authority’s executive vice president for engineering and programs management. She was appointed in 2012 to oversee the biggest upgrade to the canal since it opened in 1914. De Marotta had to overcome criticism from those who questioned her abilities in a male-dominated profession. But she got the job done and the massive new locks on either end of the 48-mile waterway will be inaugurated on 26 June.

Antwerp’s new sea-lock: Big ships beat the traffic

The world’s biggest lock has been built at Antwerp port, making it Europe’s second-biggest port, after Rotterdam. The EIB has put up EUR 160.5 million of the new Antwerp lock’s cost, a project that is expected to boost employment in Belgium.

The road to opportunity: developing safe and sustainable traffic infrastructure

The ability to travel great distances safely and easily is one in the West we take as a basic right. For many in the developing world, just travelling to the next town or village is arduous, fraught with danger and at great expense to the environment. In response to this it is vital for MDBs across the globe to work together to help improve traffic infrastructure where it remains underdeveloped.