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Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)

Marrakesh, Morocco

2017 - Ongoing
MobilityRapid TransitRenewable EnergyTransportation

Project Description

Approach Words: Integrated City, Sustainability, Urban Livability

Public Policy Instruments: Communicative, Financial Mechanism, Physical Intervention

The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in Marrakesh is a public transport system utilizing electric buses with high capacity, and operating in dedicated lanes1. The announcement of this project took place during the COP22 summit held in Marrakech in November 20162. The project aims to enhance the quality of life of the citizens of Marrakesh by providing a sustainable solution to their public transportation needs.

The project also aims to transport more than 45,000 citizens on a daily basis across the city3. It envisions to do this by connecting peripheral neighborhoods with two central downtown hubs, by establishing four transit lines and interchanges at Douar Al Askar, Bab Doukkala, and Jamaa el Fna as follows4.

Title: BRT Marrakesh lines.

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Title: BRT line 1 in Marrakech on Essaouira Avenue.

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Title: Interior view of the BRT Marrakesh.

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Title: The dedicated lanes for buses.

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  • The first implemented BRT route (T01) spans 8 kilometers with a total number of 10 buses, departing from Massira – Marjane and ending at Bab Doukkala5. This line has 8 stops6 facilitating convenient access to key connection points within the city’s urban network7. The implemented activities related to this line are road and various networks works, infrastructures (facilities, electrical wiring, signage, display etc.), and the introduction of 10 electric buses8. This line was launched partially in 20179. With the future extension, line T01 will cover a distance of approximately 16.8 kilometers, traversing key points such as Boulevard Hassan II, Bab Doukkala, Jamaâ El Fna, and Sidi Youssef Ben Ali. This route includes the stretch from Massira to Bab Doukkala on Essaouira Road, Ahmed Ouaqala Avenue leading to Bab Nkob, Mohammed V Avenue, Barrage Road, Al Yarmouk Boulevard, Agdal Road, Al Markeb Avenue, Oulad Ben Sbaa Street encircling the Sidi Youssef Ben Ali sports complex, Al Madarisse Avenue, Al Msalla Avenue, and Remparts Road10.
  • The second line (T04) is the Mhamid line that span over 9 kilometers with a total number of 15 stops. This line aims to meet the growing demand for public transportation on Guemassa Avenue, and ensure better accessibility to the M’hamid neighborhood, the airport, and areas outside the city. The implemented activities related to this line are road and various networks works, Infrastructures (facilities, electrical wiring, signage, display etc.)11. With the future extension, the T04 line will cover a distance of 14.7 km, traversing Boulevard Guemassa, Jamaâ El Fna, Bab Doukkala, Boulevard Allal Al Fass, and the dry port. It incorporates key routes such as Al Yarmouk Boulevard, Barrage Road, Mohammed V Avenue, Ahmed Ouaqala Avenue, and Allal Al Fassi Avenue, extending through Marjane (N9) until it reaches the terminus at the dry port12.
  • The third (T05) line, covering a distance of 10.2 km, is designed to incorporate key locations including Bab Ghmat, Syba, Jamaâ El Fna, Koutoubia, Bab Doukkala, the Sidi Ghanem industrial district, and the Al Azzouzia bus station. Its route includes Avenue des Nations Unies (Roundabout), Avenue Prince Moulay Abdellah, Boulevard de Safi (N7), and RP2008 (Ring Road), ultimately reaching the new Azzouzia bus station13.
  • The T06 line, covering a distance of 11 km, traverses Tamansourt, the Sidi Ghanem industrial district, and Bab Doukkala. This segment also incorporates Boulevard de Safi (N7) and provides service to Tamansourt. The project encompasses various tasks, including surveying street layouts, public squares, gardens, specific buildings, structures, and updating existing topographic plans14.

The project is an effective example of sustainable transportation in Morocco as it is environmentally friendly, as the power supply comes from a solar power plant built as part of the project15. As such, and to facilitate the low-carbon integration of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) System being implemented by the City of Marrakech, a 1 MW solar farm utilizing High Concentration Photovoltaics (HCPV) technology will be installed funded by GEF Trust Fund. The energy generated by the farm will be utilized to support electric buses, demonstrating an integrated low-carbon transportation system that can serve as a model for replication in other cities across Morocco16.

The project is initiated by the Bus City Motajadida17, a local development company in charge of delivering a clean urban transport system18. It is operated by ALSA Marrakesh that entered the Moroccan market in 1999, establishing its presence in Marrakech as the urban transport provider. Since then, ALSA Marrakech’s transportation network has experienced substantial growth, expanding to encompass 45 lines. This expansion has greatly enhanced the provision of efficient services to the residents of Marrakech and its surrounding region 19 20. The overall cost of this project is around 270 million Moroccan Dirhams21 . The project was funded by the Global Environment Facility22. On March 21, 2023, the development company Bus City Motajadida declared the trio of Ingerop, Novec, and Atelier 1 the winners of the contract to conduct preliminary studies for bus rapid transit (BRT) lines 1, 4, 5, and 6 in 23.

Project Link, Endnotes and References

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