Result Briefs December 1, 2017



A bus rapid transit system in Senegal will enhance urban mobility, reduce pollution and promote economic growth.

Challenge and Opportunity

Building safer, cleaner, more efficient and accessible transport systems is necessary to transform the world’s mobility. By 2030 the UN projects that there will be more than 8.5 billion people on earth, and aspirations for mobility will continue to rise. Transport is crucial for economic and social development, creating livelihood opportunities for the poor and enabling economies to be more competitive. Transport infrastructure connects people to jobs, education, and health services, enabling the supply of goods and services around the world.

The need to scale up climate friendly mobility solutions globally is  critical to reach the target of the Paris Agreement which would require reducing transport-related emissions from the current 7.7 gigatons CO2 equivalent to 2-3 Gt by 2050.  This will require significant investment. The challenge lies in helping countries make the transition to low-carbon transport systems. A vital aspect of this transition involves encouraging the use of public transport so that the transport sector will contribute to reducing global emissions.

Today, the entire transport sector – the mobility of people and transportation of goods – accounts for approximately 23% of CO2 emissions from fossil fuels or 15% of global GHG emissions. Moving from a high to a low-carbon transport sector requires combining tested success strategies that focus on urban integrated multi-modal transport and transit systems – using road, rail, maritime and air transport – and disruptive trends like shared mobility, autonomous driving, and electrification. This entails trillions of dollars in public and private sector investments through the next decade.

The World Bank Group collaborates with multiple partners to promote sustainable mobility around the world and is helping to create the conditions that attract investors. This includes support for building a conducive and competitive business environment, providing supply-chain support and innovative financing for infrastructure projects and emerging technologies such as electric vehicles, automated self-driving vehicles, and ride-sharing platforms.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is also working to promote sustainable mobility around the world. In 2017, it made a $10 million equity investment for Blackbuck, an Indian technology company focused on business-to-business logistics solutions for long-haul trucking. Blackbuck’s technology platform facilitates the booking of freight for inter-city transportation between shippers and truckers. Blackbuck is helping maximize efficiency while minimizing downtime for trucks. By reducing the number of trips taken by trucks with empty or partially full loads, Blackbuck is effectively reducing GHG emissions in India.

Transformative Action

The World Bank is working with its partners to help develop a new intelligent transport system for Dakar, Senegal aimed at moving 300,000 passengers per day.  The Dakar Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Pilot Project will improve travel conditions and reduce by half the average rush hour in-vehicle travel time by public transport. It combines de-risking finance from the World Bank and other development partners and concessions that are attractive to the private sector. The BRT project also lays the foundation for technology upgrades. Senegal's Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) in the Paris Agreement lists the BRT as central to reducing the country’s transport-related carbon emissions. 

The Dakar BRT project will reshape the public transport economy and environment in Dakar and will induce sustainable urban transformation along its core route and feeder routes, but also in other parts of the city. The BRT project includes the construction of an 18.3-kilometer bus line fully separated from other traffic, connecting main passenger terminals as well as 20 additional stations. This will provide a safe, fast, and reliable transport service, improving accessibility to jobs and inducing sustainable economic growth.

Key Facts/Figures

  • The entire transport sector now accounts for approximately 23% of CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels (representing 15% of total GHG emissions). Under a “business as usual” scenario, the share of transport in fossil fuel CO2 emissions could rise to 33% by 2050.
  • The Paris Agreement targets require reducing transport-related emissions from the current 7.7 Gt (gigatons) CO2 equivalent to reach a goal of 2–3 Gt CO2 by 2050.
  • Electric-drive technologies powered by renewable sources can reduce total lifecycle emissions for trucks by over 90% by 2050.
  • From July 2016-June 2017 the World Bank invested $4.9 billion in sustainable transport in 32 countries – and this includes $1.2 billion for transport mitigation and $500 million for adaptation.