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Rapid urbanisation and urban population growth in SSA have led to the development and expansion of cities which have generated increasing pressure on their transport systems. Some major cities in SSA have implemented, or are in the process of implementing, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems to address some of their mobility challenges at the lowest possible cost.
Total length of BRT corridors under development in six SSA cities is 343km (including 141 km under operation in four cities) representing a total capital investment estimated at US$ 1.8 billion. Two of these cities (i.e. Accra, Ghana and Lagos, Nigeria) have operational Quality Bus Service and BRT-Lite system.
BRT implementation in SAA cities has shown mixed results. Financial sustainability and commercial viability challenges have often materialized. They translate BRTs’ high upfront infrastructure investment costs and operational subsidies requirements to maintain services quality.
In this context, private sector solutions have been explored to address known public financial gap. To date, mobilization of private sector capital has been slow and difficult, however. This is due to cross cutting challenges encompassing political economy, regulatory, institutional, technical, social and financial characteristics of these projects. It is critical for SSA governments to have in-depth understanding and comprehensive assessment of those challenges if they are to develop contextualized and effective solutions to them.