Operating experience: The professionalisation of the paratransit sector in order to support the renewal of the fleet of “cars rapides” and “ndiaga ndiaye” in Dakar, Senegal

Within the context of the Programme d’Amélioration de la Mobilité Urbaine (urban mobility improvement programme) of 2001, the Senegalese authorities began the first phase of renewal of the fleet of the paratransit sector of the city of Dakar in 2005. The objective was to replace the most dilapidated vehicles of the operators already in place and to bring the operators together by getting them to engage in a professionalisation process. This project was supported by the World Bank, with 8 billion CFA francs of funding.

As a result, the operators of “cars rapides” and “ndiaga ndiaye“, two long-standing versions of minibus used by the paratransit sector in Dakar, created 14 autonomous economic interest groupings (EIG) with the support of the CETUDConseil Exécutif des Transports Urbains de Dakar (executive council for urban transport of Dakar). What’s more, they joined forces within the AFTU or Association de Financement des Professionnels du Transport Urbain (association for the financing of urban transport professionals). In addition to its active participation in the fleet renewal process, given its responsibility for the leasing set up for the financing, the AFTU was initially also responsible for certain aspects of operating the services. Although not as stringent as originally planned, the regulations on operations were eventually introduced, and included the creation of 55 well-defined routes.

As part of the first phase (out of 5 in total) of the renewal process, 2000 vehicles were replaced and certain improvements to the technical and management capacities of the paratransit sector were initiated. It is also worth noting the following four professionalisation measures:

  • The beginning of a formal and well-defined contract between the EIGs and the CETUD.
  • The creation of a mutual savings scheme and loans for operators, called MECTRANS.
  • The creation of a mutual health insurance plan (TRANSVIE) that covers almost everyone working in the transport sector as well as the AFTU members.
  • The creation of a support framework for operating the routes granted to the EIGs created, i.e. CAPTRANS.

The public authorities and the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Infrastructure, Land Transport and Accessibility and CETUD in particular are represented in the governing bodies of the AFTU and have some control over the decisions taken and the expected level of professionalisation.