On Sunday January 14, the Senegalese capital celebrated the commissioning of its electric Bus Rapid Transit (e-BRT) network. SYSTRA has been involved in this project since the preliminary stages, acting as project management assistant to the Dakar Urban Transport Executive Council (CETUD).
From now on, the people of Dakar can travel on a dedicated bus corridor, isolated from traffic jams and with secure stations, to reach the city’s key points. In addition to the BRT, there has been urban redevelopment with new streetlights, upgraded pavements, protected pedestrian walkways, cycle lanes along the bus lanes, and landscaping with plant cover all along the corridor.
We are proud of this launch: the first BRT in West Africa, and even the first high capacity electric BRT network in the world, has been built in Dakar thanks to the efforts of SYSTRA’s teams. The entire journey now takes 45 minutes, compared with more than twice that time previously. It’s an ambitious project, but also an inclusive one, since the stations are adapted for people with reduced mobility (PRM) and protected from traffic flows, to ensure passenger safety. 300,000 passengers will use it every day, a real change for the face of transport in Dakar.Xavier Gaveriaux, Managing Director of SYSTRA in Senegal
A flagship project to ease traffic congestion in Dakar
The BRT corridor is made up of 4 lines: an omnibus line serving all stops, two semi-express lines serving certain stations, and an express line serving only the main hubs. The route links the Guédiawaye prefecture to the Petersen bus station, with a dedicated roadway and priority traffic at junctions.
Each terminus of the network is connected to an interchange, which concentrates feeder buses to serve the suburbs more closely and maximise intermodality. As a result, 69% of the city’s population can get to the city centre in less than an hour, compared with just 12% previously.
In addition to comfort and regularity, e-BRT provides a sustainable solution to road congestion and air pollution in Dakar. The capital is home to more than a quarter of Senegal’s population and almost three-quarters of the country’s car fleet, on just 0.3% of its territory.
Eventually, the aim is for the network to be recharged using solar-generated electricity, thanks to photovoltaic panels installed on the vehicles and a solar power station that stores the energy for redistribution at night. The stations are already powered only by solar energy.
SYSTRA supports major transformations in Senegal
SYSTRA is responding to Senegal’s ambitions to introduce sustainable, innovative, and efficient transport solutions to reduce congestion in Dakar and improve regional travel. Our teams have supported the creation of phase 1 of the TER in 2021, equipped with the most modern systems (ERTMS 2 signalling, dual diesel-electric engines, etc.), followed by the e-BRT network from 2018 to 2024.
The Senegalese authorities’ next step towards sustainable transport is the restructuring of Dakar’s network of 32 feeder bus routes, again with SYSTRA, to reorganise services around the BRT and TER and encourage modal interconnections.