Dakar Mobility, a pioneering Senegalese firm co-owned by Meridiam and FONSIS, has secured a groundbreaking €135 million in funding for Sub-Saharan Africa’s first-ever 100% electric Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system. With support from Proparco, EAIF, PIDG TA, and the European Union (EU), this investment aims to transform urban transportation in Dakar, addressing traffic congestion, air pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions.

The investment comes as Dakar launches an ambitious urban transportation overhaul, led by the Executive Council for Sustainable Urban Transport (CETUD). The focus is on implementing an advanced BRT system to combat traffic issues and environmental challenges, aligning with Dakar’s commitment to eco-friendly urban mobility. The upcoming BRT system will span 18.3 kilometers, connecting the Petersen bus station to the Guédiawaye prefecture, featuring 23 stations and a fleet of 121 electric buses. This initiative sets a new standard for sustainable transportation in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Financial Backing and EU Involvement

The Dakar BRT project secures a €85.4 million loan, split between Proparco and EAIF, along with a €6.4 million loan for future battery replacements. The European Union contributes €7 million, emphasizing its commitment to intelligent, clean, and secure transportation networks in its Global Gateway strategy.

Upon completion, the Dakar BRT project aims to serve as the primary transport method, catering to 300,000 passengers daily and significantly reducing travel times from 90 to 45 minutes. The initiative is not only expected to revolutionize transportation but also bring about economic and social benefits for Dakar.

Dakar Mobility pledges to generate 1,000 direct local jobs, focusing on improving job accessibility for women and providing skill development opportunities for the youth. The project introduces a social pricing strategy, offering fare reductions of up to 50% for disadvantaged populations, promoting inclusivity and accessibility.

Comprehensive Approach to Urban Transportation

In addition to reconfiguring existing bus routes, the Dakar BRT project prioritizes safety and inclusivity. High-quality facilities at stations, pedestrian provisions, public lighting, and dedicated spaces for individuals with limited mobility underscore the project’s commitment to a comprehensive and sustainable urban transportation solution. Dakar’s venture into a fully electric BRT system positions it as a pioneer in sustainable urban progress. With its commitment to environmental preservation, economic growth, and social welfare, the success of this project could serve as a model for Sub-Saharan Africa, encouraging other regions to adopt similar sustainable urban transportation initiatives.

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