GoMetro’s CEO on Tunisia

Good morning GoMetropolitans!

In the interest of our international kick lately, exploring all the far-away places GoMetro is helping to improve transport-wise, we bring you a post today on Tunisia direct from our CEO Justin Coetzee.

Why Tunisia? Smaller than SA, Tunisia and Tunis in particular share many of the same issues South African transport and its commuters are struggling with, namely the very different types of both formal and informal transport citizens are using, including a heavy reliance on minibus taxis.

With informal transport, data is everything. The more you know in real time and on the ground, the more you can improve the way things move. Which is why GoMetro is thrilled to be a part of a groundbreaking study in Tunisia.

Launched by AFD on behalf of the Tunisian Ministry of Transport, this exploratory and operational study aims to carry out an analysis of non-scheduled passenger transport in Tunisia and its main objective is to reorganize the sector and explore its organizational failings. as well as those related to the operation.

In this context, Transitec, and its local partner SIDES, have made a diagnosis of the current situation by examining, in particular, the regulatory, institutional, organizational, technical and financial aspects and analyzing, consequently, the various dysfunctions noted. On this basis will be proposed, in consultation with the actors of the sector, variants of practical and realistic actions to solve the difficulties and the problems resulting from the organization and the current management of the non regular transport of the people.

Here is what the study has to say:

Developed outside of public transportation  of people (bus, train, subway, etc.), non-regular passenger transport has recently made an important place in the landscape of the Tunisian ground transportation. In Tunisia, “non-scheduled transportation” is defined as the modes of transport of people who do not comply with the standards of public transport. This type of transport includes different modes.

In urban areas, there are individual taxis in the form of a car, which have been present for decades. They operate on demand and set their rates according to the distance of the trip according to a meter. There are also “public taxis”, eight-seater yellow minibuses that have appeared more recently in urban areas. These “big taxis” are assigned to well defined lines, and apply a tariff to the trip. The deterioration of public transport in cities has contributed to the strong development of these modes, which  have become a major solution for the movement of many inhabitants in urban areas.. Coupled with strong demand, the recent social context and delays in public transport planning have led to an explosion in licensing between 2011 and 2012, bringing the number of vehicles from 24,000 in 2010 to 35,000 across the country. Tunisia (about 33,000 individual taxis, and 2,000 collective taxis). Greater Tunis, the main agglomeration of Tunisia, is home to about 18,000 individual taxis and 900 taxis.

In the interurban environment, minibuses called “hirings” replace or complement the public transport services (buses and trains). These modes are divided into three categories: “red” hirings that connect cities in different regions, “blue” hirings that connect cities within a region, and “yellow” hirings known as “rural transport”. which connect the different villages within a delegation. Operating without schedules, these minibuses with 8 places leave as soon as they are full, and in spite of a formalization of the stations, remain flexible on the points of stops of the passengers. While rural transport is necessary, “red” leases compete directly with intercity bus and train services, which are also experiencing severe damage.

A desire to reorganize the non-scheduled transport sector

Introduced as an easy and inexpensive solution to the mobility problems in Tunisia encountered since the end of the 90s, non-regular transport ultimately contributes to the decline in traffic and the degradation of public transport, and thus to the increase in congestion urban development, road safety and pollution. But it  also offers a flexible service that public transport can not provide and must be fully considered in the overall organization of urban mobility.

Faced with this situation, the Ministry of Transport wants to reorganize these modes of transport in order to integrate them into a global development strategy for urban mobility. For this, with the help of funding from the French Development Agency, and with the support of technical cooperation led by CODATU, the Ministry launched at the end of 2017 a study for the reorganization of non-regular passenger transport. . This study will aim to explore the organizational, regulatory and operational failures of this sector, in order to optimize it in coherence with the public transport network. The Ministry of Transport wants to guarantee a coherent urban mobility adapted to the demand. The completion of this study, whose work began in January 2018 will last one year, and was won by the group TRANSITEC – SIDES.

A study conducted in different regions of Tunisia

To provide a vision and recommendations for the entire country, this study will draw on a sample of territories to gain a generalizable vision to the whole country. For this, a selection of governorates (regions) representative of the different situations encountered in Tunisia was made:

  • The 4 governorates of Greater Tunis : Tunis, Ariana, Manouba, Ben Arous. The largest agglomeration of Tunisia spread over these four governorates has more than 35 municipalities  on 2 555 km² for nearly 2.7 million inhabitants.
  • Sousse and Monastir in the Sahel region. Two highly urbanized governorates centered around cities of the same name, with a total population of more than one million. The agglomeration of Sousse is the third of the country.
  • Medenine , located in the extreme south-east of the country and border of Libya. This very sparse governorate totals less than 500,000 inhabitants out of  9,167 km² spread over several urban centers: Medenine, Zarzis, Jerba, Ben Guerdane.
  • Jendouba located in the northwest of the country. This governorate has about 400 000 inhabitants on 3 100 km² and remains weakly urbanized. Although its capital city (Jendouba) is home to 45,000 inhabitants, its other localities remain very small.

Working on these regions, the study will be carried out in close collaboration with the local actors, as well as the central actors. The work will be based on field surveys, participatory meetings and workshops. It will be divided into three phases: a diagnostic phase to analyze the situation on different levels (legal and institutional, technical and operational), and identify problems; a phase of formulation of intervention scenarios; and a phase of selecting the best scenario and developing a detailed action plan.

Obviously, GoMetro is very excited to be a part of such a great initiative, and we believe our work in Tunisia with Transitec will give us valuable insights into helping improve the way we move here in South Africa even more than we are already too. So, stay tuned for more on Tunisia and have great weeks!

By | 2018-06-14T13:33:55+00:00 June 4th, 2018|Featured, GoMetro News, Informative, Talking Mobile|