Launch of the Brt: Change of era in Dakar – Lequotidien

Launch of the Brt: Change of era in Dakar – Lequotidien
Launch of the Brt: Change of era in Dakar – Lequotidien

After the Regional Express Train (Ter), the Rapid Transit Bus (Brt), costing 419 billion CFA francs, began its rotations yesterday. It will cross the communes of Cambérène, Patte D’oie, Grand-Yoff, Dieuppeul-Derklé, Sicap-Liberté, Mermoz-Sacré Cœur, Grand-Dakar, Point E-Amitié, the commune of Fass-Colobane-Gueule Tapée, Médina and finally Dakar-Plateau, and allow the capital to breathe better. Minister of Transport, El Malick Ndiaye welcomes the initiative.

By Abdou Latif MANSARAY – In the life of the Nation, it is a momentous moment. “This is a great first in Africa, we invite all Senegalese to take ownership of this project,” says El Malick Ndiaye, Minister of Infrastructure and land and air transport. Yesterday he launched the gradual commissioning of the Brt. He traveled, with the project managers, from the Prefecture of Guédiawaye to Petersen, aboard a bus. He had 40 minutes to appreciate the journey and the “comfort” offered by this 100% electric means of transport. “We thank everyone who worked on this project. We visited the Pcc, the starting point at the Guédiawaye Prefecture. There, we made the journey together. And what we can say is that the Brt project was a success in its implementation, in the overall financial arrangement, and we thank the initiators and the development partners, the project owners and all those who have participated in the success of this project,” thanks El Malick Ndiaye.

For him, Senegal has just acquired modern transport. A jewel to be preserved. “And we invite all Senegalese to take ownership of this project, particularly in their behavior. Because this is about focusing on quality, hygiene, the environment and safety. But above all, we must develop the territory by providing all the amenities, and this will allow all these beautiful people who are there in promiscuity, living in Dakar, to return home and work at home. Dakar will breathe and we will no longer be in cyclical projects, but we will be in structural projects like the Brt,” assures the Minister of Transport.

El Malick Ndiaye: “The State negotiated the prices well”
And he announces the arrival of more than 1000 buses to reinforce other lines. “This is extremely important,” he adds. Asked about the price of transport, El Malick Ndiaye thinks it is reasonable: “400 F and 500 F are reasonable prices. It was well negotiated by the State of Senegal, through Cetud, to set a reasonable price.”

Today, El Malick Ndiaye at the same time magnifies the Brt staff recruitment model. “We also noticed that there are young people working and female recruitment is 40%, and practically all the team leaders I have seen are women, and they are working on recruitment of female drivers. Now it is no longer enough to just have a license to drive a means of transport such as a bus,” recalls the minister.

Echoing this, Dr Thierno Birahim Aw, Director General of Cetud, recalls that this project also has an environmental dimension, with cutting-edge technology making it possible to serve 23 stations that are already autonomous in solar energy. There are also 121 electric buses. “The launch of the full commercial commissioning will allow the operation of the 23 Brt stations on 4 lines (omnibus, express, 2 semi-express), a range of service from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. (last departure), the implementation available to the entire bus fleet, for frequency intervals of one to two minutes,” notes the director of Cetud.
With this new path, Senegal will save 60,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. While traffic is one of the main causes of pollution in the city.

It should be noted that a study updated in 2022 on the cost of negative externalities linked to road transport in the Dakar region, initially carried out in 1998, revealed that the Senegalese economy “loses 900 billion CFA francs annually due to problems linked to automobile pollution, congestion, road insecurity and noise. These losses represent 6% of the national GDP.

Today, the Brt, which goes from Petersen to the Prefecture of Guédiawaye, serves 14 stations from Monday to Sunday and on public holidays. A departure is planned every 6 minutes between Guédiawaye Prefecture and Grand Médine. Better, a departure every 3 minutes on the Papa Guèye Fall and Grand Médine section which has 8 stations. Not forgetting the Ddd and Aftu bus feeder lines on part of the 14 stations served.

For the moment, only 14 of the 23 stations are served, because the others are not functional due to the destruction suffered during the political unrest last June. Stéphane Volant, president of the operator Dakar Mobilité, announces a decongestion of the Dakar urban area suffocated by traffic jams. “For comparison, the Ter has 50,000 travelers every day (sic). Brt will replace tens of thousands of cars every day. It will help decongest the city in a spectacular way,” announces Mr. Volant.

Launched on October 28, 2019, the work was due to end in December 2022. The demonstrations recorded last June in Dakar, which caused Brt vandalism, delayed the deadline. And they cost the State of Senegal too much, because the impacts of the riots are estimated at more than 5 billion francs, according to Cetud.

Obviously, this has an impact on the budget linked to the work. While the cost was estimated at 300 billion francs, financed by the World Bank, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the State of Senegal, it ultimately reached 419 billion Cfa.

You should know that the State of Senegal has granted the operation and maintenance of the Brt for 15 years to Dakar Mobilité, a company under Senegalese law owned 70% by the French company Meridiam and 30% by the Sovereign Fund for Strategic Investments. (Fonsis) from Senegal.
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