MOZAMBIQUE: Private sector participation in urban transport in Greater Maputo

Mozambique’s Greater Maputo region has undergone rapid population and economic growth in recent years. This urban expansion has led to increased transport demand and mobility challenges. The movement of people and goods has risen considerably, resulting in worsening traffic congestion due to road network constraints. Public transportation relies heavily on privately operated mini-buses known as chapas that are rented out to drivers who collect fares to cover costs. Larger buses also operate but they overlap routes with the chapas.

The region, encompassing the cities of Maputo and Matola, along with the districts of Boane and Marracuene, is projected to expand from 2.2 million residents in 2012 to over 3.7 million by 2035.

While municipal authorities oversee transport planning and regulation, coordination issues persist across the interconnected metropolitan area. This led to the establishment of the Maputo Metropolitan Transport Agency (AMT) in late 2017 under the Ministry of Transport and Communications. AMT is tasked with managing the master transportation plan for Greater Maputo. However, as a new agency, AMT needs support to define mandates, staffing, and financing frameworks, and is positioned to administer bus route contracts across municipalities in the region.

Recognizing the need for technical expertise to advance these ambitions, the Transport Ministry and AMT sought World Bank assistance. The $250 million Greater Maputo Transport Program aimed to establish the first BRT system in the city, which includes structuring bus concessions and building AMT’s institutional capacity. PPIAF supported an analysis of the proposed BRT system’s commercial and operational viability, under different climate scenarios using guidance from the CTIP3. Under current average fare assumptions, the study found operators would likely only cover operating expenses, with higher fares needed to finance capital expenditures.

The assessment concluded that options like concessional financing rates, extended tenors, or direct subsidies are necessary to ensure the BRT’s viability at existing fares. PPIAF’s work provided pivotal insights for the Greater Maputo Transport Program, incorporating key recommendations on BRT structuring, financing, and operations.

Through targeted capacity building support, PPIAF equipped the nascent AMT with the foundation to effectively coordinate and regulate the region’s complex transport networks. The evidence-based viability study offered vital data to inform planning decisions tailored to the local context.

With these building blocks now in place, Maputo is well positioned to execute transformative upgrades to public transit systems. PPIAF’s support also unlocked targeted World Bank financing and expertise at a crucial time to address the pressing mobility needs of Greater Maputo’s rapidly growing population. The progress promises more sustainable, inclusive, and climate-smart transport solutions for residents and businesses.

Approved date2018-12-12
RegionSub-Saharan Africa

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