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Published:
Last Updated:
17 Jan 2022

Market Analysis on Financial Sustainability and Commercial Viability of BRTs in Sub-Saharan Africa

Author: Fan, Hongye; Beukes, Edward Andrew; and Neves, Philippe

Over the past decade, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) has been seen to offer an effective solution to the transport challenges faced in many cities in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), as a mass transit system which can deliver capacity matching that of urban rail systems, with the potential to be delivered more rapidly and at relatively lower cost. While urban transport infrastructure has traditionally been financed by the public sector, there is increasing interest from SSA governments in engaging the private sector to support the delivery of BRT schemes. However, despite the private sector has expressed interest for investment, the mobilization of private sector capital has been slow and difficult. The objective of this study is to undertake a systematic sector market analysis of BRT schemes in Sub-Saharan Africa from the perspective of the private sector, to understand the thinking and experience of private sector stakeholders participating in BRT schemes. The study also explores the reasons behind the hesitancy shown in this context by private investors. This report of the study comprises two main parts: (1) a desktop overview of the current commercial and financial landscape of BRT and urban transport financing in SSA, identifying current financing schemes and investors at presence or with interest; and (2) a market assessment of investors’ appetite for BRTs, and their risk analysis, based on responses to a survey questionnaire and interviews.

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