27 September 2016

Technical Cooperation in Tunisia – How to implement a Regional Transport Authority ?

February 2016,CODATU, the French Agency for Development AFD, and the Tunisian Ministry of Transportation started a technical cooperation in order to support the implementation of urban mobility projects and the improvement of public transport systems in main Tunisian urban agglomerations.

Three main cooperation axes

This technical cooperation is organized around three main axes:

  • Support the implementation of the investment program (construction and operation of the RFR suburban railway project in Tunis , reconfiguration of the Light Metro network in the centre of Tunis, writing terms of reference, implementation of follow-up and coordination procedures…)
  • Support the evolution of organisations and institutions in the urban transport field (transport authorities, contractual framework, financing solutions…)
  • Promotion of good practices in urban transport that answer to international standards in contracting, environmental policies, new technologies, social standards…)

A large participation of tunisian institutions

DSC_0671_bDuring a first workshop aiming to prioritize urban transport projects of Grand Tunis and main Tunisian cities, the establishment of a transport authority in Tunis was defined as the first priority. Thus, a second workshop was organised 18th, 19th and 20th July under the title of “A regional transport authority for the Grand Tunis: implementation challenges” and aimed to gather urban transport actors at central and local level in order to define an appropriate the implementation process.

In 2013, within a Euromed RRU cooperation program, a pilot project was launched for the creation of a transport authority in the urban area of Sfax following the same operating method used in Grand Tunis four governorates. This project lead to the creation of a first committee that would establish the authority responsibilities and prepare its implementation for Sfax Governorate (administrative region).

The workshop was held at the Institut des Hautes Etudes Touristiques in Sidi Dhrif and at the Ministry of Transport of Tunisia and was joined by representatives from the Ministry of Transport, Governorates and Regional Transport Directorates of the Grand Tunis, public agencies, and public and private transport companies.

The SMTC Tisséo Toulouse accompanies the Grand Tunis discussions

DSC_0688This workshop was organised by Hans Van Eibergen and Mathieu Martin (CODATU) and benefited from the participation of experts from the SMTC Tisséo, the French transport authority of the city of Toulouse. Tisséo participation aims to initiate a long-term cooperation between Toulouse and Tunis with the purpose of reorganise the urban transport institutional architecture. Thus, Cyril Ladier and Fabrice Durand presented the history and the operational model of the SMTC Tisséo and enriched the brainstorming: Toulouse showed similarities between the four inter-municipalities associations under the authority of the SMTC Tisséo and the four governorates of the Grand Tunis.

The workshop was divided in three sessions. The first one aimed to present the context and several kinds of transport authorities, either existing or under construction, through the examples of Toulouse, Grenoble and Rabat-Salé. The example of Rabat-Salé was introduced thanks to the CODATU Webinar How to Implement a Mass Transit Project?. The second session analysed the situation of Tunis and was introduced by a presentation of Sfax Regional Director Mr Mohamed El Euch on the pilot project in Sfax. This introduction allowed participants to debate on the progress of the project and to compare it with the context of Tunis.

An interregional committee working on governance issues in the Grand Tunis

Shall we create one transport authority for the entire Grand Tunis or one authority per governorate ? This question remains unanswered and will be analysed by the interregional committee that participants put forward. The brainstorming on the implementation of the committee concerned its composition, missions and operation. Thus, this committee will have to gather representatives of ministries, regional directorates, local authorities, operators and also political and unions representatives. Next steps :

  • Elaborate a local mobility policy for the Grand Tunis;
  • Implement the decentralization of this policy in order to create one or several transport authority in the Grand Tunis;
  • Participate to the necessary preliminary studies to ensure a sustainable, decentralized and independent financing system for the new policy;
  • Define contractual relationships between authorities and operators;
  • Follow the implementaton of the main investment projects in the meantime.


The third day was an occasion to summarize the previous sessions in presence of high authorities of the Ministry of Transport. The workshop allowed to agree on a schedule for the following of the project. In order to organize the first meeting of the committee before the end of the year, an official proposal including the definitive composition of the committee, and the schedule will have to be officially submitted before the end of the summer of 2016. This proposal will be elaborated by a working group within the Ministry of Transport and will be submitted to the minister of transport.

>>> Program available here (FR) <<<