On the sidelines of his participation on October 10, 2019 in Lyon at the Replenishment Conference of the Global Fund to Fight HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the President of the Republic of Madagascar, Andry Rajoelina, wished to meet CODATU to discuss the urban mobility problems of the capital Antananarivo. Two major topics were discussed:
1 – The projects being conceived between CODATU and the Ministry of Transport of Madagascar.
This is a Forum in early 2020, and a revival of pilot project on the improvement of the Taxi-Be system in the Capital (4500 minibuses that carry a million people a day), taking advantage of all the studies already carried out by the IMV Antananarivo (Cooperation of the Ile-de-France Region) between 2009 and 2015 (ticketing, change of mini buses, training of drivers, control, etc.).
CODATU, based on its international experience, developed the idea that the Forum should address a set of key issues, the resolution of which is an essential prerequisite for projects on urban mobility:
• who is responsible for what? This is the question of the transport organizing authority (TAO) of Grand Tana, which must be clearly addressed. Today there is for example a duality in the management of Taxi-Be between the AUC and the National State (ATT).
• who finances what? Without sustained financing of TAO and transport, it will be difficult to envisage more capacity-based modes such as urban trains, urban cables, or high-level buses.
• What is the overall vision of the mobility system for the next decade? The latest plan (UDP) dates back to 2004 and is well past it.
CODATU believes that on these issues there will be a need for strong political choices on the part of the National State, and that the commitment of the President can be useful. The Forum will result in a roadmap for all stakeholders, which will also speed up the dialogue with donors. The ongoing creation of an urban planning agency in Grand Tana, with support from AFD, is also a long awaited opportunity in this area.
2- The presidential project of urban train, which will partly take back the existing railways for the freight, on a South-North axis.
CODATU has indicated some lessons from its international experience in this type of project, which can possibly be used in the Malagasy context:
– do not focus too quickly on the rolling stock, which comes after a set of studies, technical and political choices
– do not underestimate the deadlines. To realize the first new Tram of Lyon, for example, Christian Philip, at the time President of the SYTRAL, indicated that it had taken 3 to 4 years in forced march.
– design the operating and maintenance model in a perfect way
– have a credible business model, knowing that it is very difficult to reach the small balance.
The drawdown of the minibus lines to the future stations is undoubtedly an essential point, of a not insignificant complexity considering the atomization of the TaxiBe system. In Dakar, for example, it should be known that 90% of the passengers of the future TER must come from the bus system.
Finally it was mentioned that CODATU has already carried out different actions on Madagascar:
– presentation to the Prime Minister in March 2018 of a note on the levers available to the Malagasy State for urban mobility
– signing a partnership agreement between the AMGVM (Association of Mayors of the Grandes Illes de Madagascar) and CODATU. CODATU’s support has enabled two major cities, Antananarivo and Mahajanga, to join the Mobilize Your City initiative, which will support cities in planning urban mobility.
– a mission in June 2019 (report available to members on request at [email protected]), including a CODATU-APUM debate (Association of Urban Professionals in Madagascar), the definition of the pilot project on the professionalisation of the TaxiBe artisanal transport, the registration of the National State of Madagascar to the Mobilize Your City initiative.
In conclusion, the teams from the Ministry of Transport of Madagascar and CODATU are already working together to prepare the 2020 Forum and its roadmap, an essential step towards sustainable urban mobility in Antananarivo.
Contact CODATU: Jean-Jacques Helluin