As part of The Center for Mediterranean Integration’s (CMI) Urban Transport program, AFD in partnership with the ministry of Interior in Morocco, and with assistance from CODATU, CEREMA and Transitec have organized the “National Urban Transport Days” workshop from September 23rd to 24th, 2013 in Rabat. The event brought together representatives from line ministries (Interior, Finance, Infrastructure and Transport, Housing, Urban Development), the territorial administration and local governments, parliamentarians, and from urban development agencies as well as public and private transport operators.
The workshop was opened by HE the minister of Interior in an engaging speech recalling that Urban Transport is a key issue to which the Government should pay special attention for ensuring citizens’ mobility as well as the competitiveness and attractiveness of Moroccan cities. The State should support local governments on the financial level, and also in terms of capacity building, the minister said.
The issues of the institutional framework and the sustainability of funding mechanisms were introduced and discussed through the analysis of the development of urban transport in the metropolitan cities of Rabat, Salé and Casablanca, with interventions of the Mayors of the three cities.
A broad consensus emerged on the need for clarification and visibility on the respective roles of each stakeholder/actor and the associated risk sharing in the implementation and operation of public transport services; together with a stabilization of the funding framework for investment, operation and maintenance of transport facilities, in order to facilitate long term investment. Hence four priority areas emerged from the workshop:
As a result of the workshop, the Special Fund for Transport Reforms (the FART), one of the main instruments of urban transport policy was amended under the Finance Law for 2014, to become an investment fund for the funding of exclusive lane public transport infrastructure.
The workshop was also an opportunity for upstream preparation of major projects including the Agadir Bus Rapid Transit service.