150 million dollars for urban transport in Morocco

The purpose of this additional funding is to adapt the program to new priorities in terms of mobility – including those following the pandemic of the new coronavirus (covid-19) – and to extend its scope, the World Bank said in a press release. Emphasis will be placed on the creation and operationalization of a dedicated central structure, responsible for overseeing public transport and on local investments to strengthen the performance of the sector, said the same source.

“The covid-19 pandemic underlines more than ever the importance of investing in safe, affordable and efficient public transport for economic and social inclusion and climate change mitigation,” said Jesko Hentschel, Director World Bank country for the Maghreb, cited in the press release. And to continue: “With this additional funding, we wish to help the Moroccan authorities to maintain the momentum of reforms and develop an affordable transport system that meets the needs of city dwellers in a country where the demand for urban mobility and reliability of public transport is constantly increasing ”.

The program has already produced tangible results, notably through the Support Fund for Urban Transport Reforms, which has helped finance priority investments, but also by improving the planning and performance of urban transport as well as coordination between municipalities. , notes the BM.

In addition, by improving the quality of services provided, the investments made in this context have so far benefited 40,000 daily urban transport users, the same source said, noting that at the end of the program, the total number of Daily beneficiaries are expected to reach 130,000 city dwellers.

The new funding tranche plans to introduce oversight mechanisms to streamline governance of the sector. It will focus more on providing technical and strategic support to local authorities responsible for urban transport for the development of sustainable services in response to demand. Transport corridors, mainly in the form of High Level Service Buses, will be created to improve the population’s access to economic opportunities and social services.

“The program intends to give birth to a new dynamic by integrating efficiency standards into all the authorities responsible for urban transport with the aim of optimizing the performance of the sector through in particular targeted investments”, explained Nabil Samir, specialist. in transport and project team leader at the World Bank.

These efforts should strengthen national and local capacities to plan, implement and monitor urban transport and improve the quality of services provided to users in this area, he argued. The program is implemented by the Ministry of the Interior and, at local level, by the municipalities. Its closing date has been extended until June 2024. It is based on the national strategy for urban mobility, drawn up by the ministry with the support of the WB. In addition to this loan, the WB mobilized technical assistance to define the main measures to be introduced in order to strengthen the governance of the sector and to have an accessible urban transport system in the big cities of the kingdom.

(With MAP)

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