Senegal launches 100% electric BRT service in Dakar

Dakar Mobilité has taken delivery of 121 electric buses ordered from Chinese manufacturer CRRC last autumn. The new EVs are destined to run in an exclusively electric BRT network in the capital Dakar.

Image: Meridiam

The Bus Rapid Transit or BRT system for short, announced by project lead Meridiam in April 2022 has gained momentum. Meridiam reported today that it had secured the scheduled 135 million euros in funding for Dakar Mobilité, owned by the investor and FONSIS, Senegal’s sovereign fund. The €135 mn comes through Proparco, EAIF, PIDG TA (Technical Assistance) and the European Union and have helped install the entirely new bus service.

Unlike regular bus routes, BRT lines run on separate lanes. For this purpose, Dakar has outbuilt 18.3 kilometres of BRT lanes. Four lines will serve 23 stops. According to Meridiam, these connect the 14 most densely populated districts in the north and south, namely the Petersen bus station at Dakar Plateau (in the city centre) to the prefecture of Guédiawaye in the northern suburbs.

The first BRT buses are due to go into operation in January. The whole service will start before the summer, around a year later than planned. Once operational, Dakar Mobilité expects to carry 300,000 passengers daily on the BRT. It will also halve the travel time from 90 to 45 minutes.

The 121 electric buses now being handed over have 563.8 kWh batteries on board to be charged at all 23 charging stations. Manufacturer CRRC is also responsible for the infrastructure.

Dakar is one of the largest cities in West Africa and the economic and political capital of Senegal. Its population of nearly four million is expected to grow by about 40 per cent over the next decade.

The project is “part of the ambitious and global strategy to modernise Dakar’s urban mobility and transport network by 2025”, according to Meridiam. It expects to create 1,000 jobs and considers the Dakar BRT project “one of the most innovative energy transition projects” in Africa.,


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