Increasing urbanisation in Dakar, the Senegalese metropolis, has led to traffic congestion with adverse effects on mobility, the economy and the environment. Tackling the challenge required a bold scheme that can stand the test of time. As part of the ongoing Transport and Urban Mobility Support Project, the Government of Senegal designed a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system in the capital that uses dedicated lines for buses in a major pilot project connecting the city centre with the southern suburbs. The project concerns two administrative divisions and 14 municipalities with almost one million inhabitants, one third of the population of the Dakar region.
It is estimated that close to 330,000 trips per day will be undertaken on the BRT system, meaning an overall increase in the use of the public transport network, excluding taxis, by 4% and a reduction in road traffic of about 19,000 cars per day.
EIB finance of approximately EUR 80 million will cover about 22% of the overall costs involved in building 23 BRT stops along the pathway, including three major terminals that interconnect with other thoroughfares. These include bus terminals, parking lots for taxis, and park and ride facilities, enabling commuters to leave their car outside the city centre.
Inevitably, a project of this magnitude comes with positive and negative effects on people in the areas concerned and on the environment. These have been taken into account in the form of environmental and social impact assessments, ongoing dialogue on the future layout of the traffic system and consultation of people affected by resettlement, which will be implemented in line with the EIB’s Standard on Involuntary Resettlement. The majority of stakeholders, however, see the project as the best means to increase urban mobility, reduce car traffic and travel time, improve safety, and modernise the city.