Bishkek Authorities Fight Air Pollution by Destroying the Most Ecological Public Transport (Trolleybuses) and Replacing Them with E-Buses Funded by the Asian Development Bank

We call on the international community to stand up for trolleybuses  — the most environmentally friendly transport in Bishkek by supporting the local civil society initiative and raising your voices on various levels: in the Media, on governmental and municipal levels.

Despite public opinion and petitions, the Bishkek City Mayor’s Office has begun dismantling the city’s only electric transportation system. In the city, which ranks among the top 10 most air-polluted cities during winters. 

Million-Dollar Damage to the City’s Budget

The destruction of trolleybus infrastructure in Bishkek results in irreparable losses—the budget damage amounts to a minimum of over 624 million soms (according to the mayor’s office data cost). However, considering the entire infrastructure, the loss amounts to several billion soms. The City Mayor announced in the Parliament session that one circle-trolleybus route will be left, but the lines on that street have already been removed, indicating that there will be no circle route.

Trolleybuses Purchased with an EBRD Loan will be Given Away 5 Years Before Full Repayment

It is unacceptable to start dismantling trolleybus or take any other actions before the end of the public hearings by the Bishkek City Council (BGK) on «Granting consent for the gratuitous transfer of passenger trolleybuses to the state ownership of the Kyrgyz Republic». The introduction of new electric buses funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) ($50 million project) should not be a reason for the dismantlement of trolleybuses, as they can serve only supplement routes where trolleybuses do not exist. According to the ADB public transport electrification project, 25 old trolleybuses should be replaced, not 100. The last network upgrade was in 2022, and in 2018 more than 50 new trolleybuses were purchased with a European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) loan (€23 million), which the city budget has to repay for years, meaning it comes out of our citizens’ pockets.

Stakeholder Participation and Health Damage of Citizens — Diseases caused Air Pollution

Destroyment of environmental-friendly transportation is going without any agreements with the public and any public hearings. This decision impacts the city of 2 million people and  it should be public participation. Trolleybuses are our public good and have successfully operated for over 70 years, running on domestic electricity without a single emission. The demolition of eco-friendly transport harms people’s health, who are already susceptible to diseases and harmful effects from air pollution. Therefore, we need more eco-friendly transport. It is necessary to systematically renew the trolleybus fleet so that routes are not duplicated by other public transport routes, which will ensure eco-friendly commuting for citizens.

We Ask to Raise your Voices to Defend Eco-Friendly Transport and Prevent the Deterioration of the Environmental and Transport Situation in Bishkek! Please spread the word in the Media, among Kyrgyz Government and Bishkek City Hall. 


Join us for the event or spread the word among journalists: ACTION IN DEFENSE OF THE MOST ECOLOGICAL PUBLIC TRANSPORT «THE LAST TROLLEYBUS»

When: July 3, 5:00 PM

Where: Bus Stop “Philharmonia” (at Chui/Manas Avenue), Bishkek

Bishkek, 2025. All trolleybuses, the most environmentally friendly public transport, have been destroyed in the city. The air in the rapidly growing capital has significantly worsened in recent years. The damage to the city budget is calculated to be over tens of billions of soms. The trolleybuses cannot be restored, and public transport cannot handle the load. People cannot comfortably get to work or go about their business, so they buy cars, plunging the city into even more traffic jams and air pollution.

In 2023, trolleybuses transported about 20 million passengers in Bishkek. We are all these trolleybus passengers who will be left waiting at the stops. We do not want this sad scenario to become a reality for suffocating Bishkek, so we invite all citizens to participate in the peaceful action «The Last Trolleybus.» We will stand at the “Philharmonia” stop and wait for that very beloved trolleybus, which may never come again, as a tribute to the nearly century-long history of the greenest transport, to all the workers of the legendary “Bishkek Trolleybus Management,” and as a sign of disagreement with the decision of the Bishkek Mayor’s Office, which will have major consequences for the city.

If anyone asks, we will say: «We are waiting for the trolleybus that may never come again».

You can still send a letter of disagreement to the Mayor’s Office at We need as many voices as possible!

Initiative #BishkekSmog


With support from @save_bishkek_trolleybus

Artist: @bucks_coffee_stories