MARRAKESH, July 25, 2019 - The Program-for-Results Urban Transport Program is strengthening infrastructure in Morocco, while promoting competitive and inclusive growth by linking citizens with limited mobility to economic and employment opportunities in cities. A grant from the Government of Japan is helping to promote physical accessibility for persons with limited mobility by demonstrating the feasibility of improved access through a pilot project in Marrakesh.
Currently, 60 percent of Morocco’s population resides in an urban area, that is close to 20 million inhabitants. The demand for urban mobility in these cities has steadily increased, with the estimated number of journeys on public transport more than doubling over the past 40 years. The World Bank’s US$200 million program is supporting the Government of Morocco to improve the transport sector and to build a web of urban transport corridors within larger cities.
A US$2.85 million grant from the Government of Japan is providing guidance for the city of Marrakesh in how to incorporate elements of accessibility into their urban transport master plan. A study sponsored by the city provided options for executing the master plan and improve urban mobility including a potential Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) investment project with major improvements to sidewalks, traffic signals, and pedestrian crossings. The pilot project made it possible for the city to include capacity building activities on issues related to physical accessibility of persons with limited mobility, pilot activities to upgrade Marrakesh's urban infrastructure for increased accessibility, and share this knowledge with other city municipalities and the public through an awareness outreach campaign.
Other cities in Morocco are now including some of the pilot’s interventions as they study and execute large public transport infrastructure projects. The pilot project was able to provide useful illustrations of good practice examples for low cost improvements to accessibility and demonstrate the feasibility of adequate accessibility improvements.
At closing, on January 31, 2017, the pilot project had produced technical documents related to the improvement of accessibility infrastructures, evaluated three cities for the inclusion of accessibility in urban transport infrastructure, drafted construction codes with accessibility measures, and trained 200 technical staff and 55 NGO staff on accessibility.