Washington, March 15, 2011 – Urban transport in Morocco’s large cities is a key interface between citizens and the ability of central and local authorities to deliver quality services, thus an important challenge is satisfying citizen demand. In collaboration with the Moroccan Government, the World Bank has developed a program based on public and professional consultations and an in-depth analysis of the sector, to improve the urban transport sector and modernize its institutions and infrastructure.
To support Morocco’s efforts to reform this key service delivery sector, the World Bank’s Board of Directors approved today a US$ 136.7-million Development Policy Loan (DPL) to the government of Morocco. The DPL supports the government’s strategy for the sector which focuses on improving governance and efficiency, increasing the supply of urban transport services and infrastructure, and ensuring the environmental and social sustainability of urban transport.
In preparation of the DPL, the main difficulties facing the sector were examined through research and consultations to determine the expectations of citizens and to identify the urban development task for the future. Morocco’s urban population is currently 17.7 million (about 55% of the total population) and is projected to grow to 27 million in 2025 (70% of the population). This creates a growing challenge in terms of urban mobility and accessibility. Addressing this challenge successfully can in turn promote sustainable economic growth, social development and quality of life for Morocco’s urban citizens.
Regarding governance, the reforms supported by the DPL include the upgrading of central and local urban transport institutions and the establishment of a National Commission on Urban Transport (NCUT) to work on the coordination and harmonization of public transport policies and strategies. Regarding urban transport services and infrastructure, the program provides for the restructuring of bus services in Rabat-Sale-Temara and Casablanca and the implementation of new regulations for public transport contract awarding. Finally, the DPL-supported program tackles sustainability by developing the accessibility to urban transport and by improving the environment through a substantial reduction of GHG emissions and a strengthening of vehicle inspection centers.
“The impact of the program will not only improve mobility for all urban citizens but will also ensure greater sustainability of the sector,” said Jean Charles Crochet, World Bank Task Team Leader for the program. “It also implements one of the important objectives of the Country Partnership Strategy signed between Morocco and the World Bank for the period 2010-2013, namely improvement in access to, and quality of, public services.”