By: Fabian Cotter

SCANIA AND FRANCE-based public transport operator RATP Group – already established in 14 countries - has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the government of West Africa nation Burkina Faso to, “establish a modern and efficient bus system with 460 buses and 90 coaches,” it’s reported recently.

Scania is part of an ambitious campaign to modernise West African public transport.

With the objective to, "…strengthen public transport in Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou" – and arguably be the perfect global example of how fast and cost efficient implementing a modern bus-based PT system over light rail in a relatively unestablished, dated transport infrastructure - traffic will start in 2019 with the delivery of the first 225 buses it’s stated.

The massive project is said to include supplying buses and coaches; establishing a bus depot; building bus stops and bus lanes; as well as training drivers and service technicians. In collaboration with RATP Group, Scania will ensure efficient fleet management, it’s stated. Scania will also work on the introduction of alternative fuels with the ultimate aim of operating the entire fleet on biodiesel and biogas, the company says.

The population of Ouagadougou – 3 million – is expected to double by 2030. At present, half of the residents travel on foot, while 80 per cent of motorised trips are carried out on two wheels (mainly motorcycles), most often for lack of public transport.

The ambitious transport plan for the capital of Burkina Faso is, over the period 2018–2020, to strengthen Ouagadougou’s public transport network by deploying 550 new vehicles on current and future bus routes. Initially, the current bus system will be modernised while a future Bus Rapid Transit System (BRT) with four routes is planned, it’s stated.

By involving RATP Group and Scania in this project, Burkina Faso has chosen to build on the expertise of two internationally recognised transport stakeholders, it’s reported. The RATP Group is one of the world’s five largest urban public transport companies. It will contribute its expertise on the entire mobility chain in technical, financial and training issues. In addition RATP Group will design, supply and operate Intelligent Transport Systems, such as passenger information and ticketing systems.

The agreement was signed in Paris by Vincent Timbindi Dabilgou, Minister of Transport, Urban Mobility and Road Safety of Burkina Faso; Jérôme Harnois, president RATP International; and Christian Levin, executive vice president, Scania.

 Related article: Scania sets ambitious target of fossil-free by 2050
Related article: Scania sets ambitious target of fossil-free by 2050


Operating in 14 countries on four continents, as stated the Group is the world’s fifth largest urban public transport operator. Every day, its 61,000 employees strive in common cause to develop a sustainable, intelligent city by designing, operating and maintaining innovative transport services on behalf of its passengers, in France and worldwide, the company states.

Since 1949 it has been designing, operating and maintaining metro, rail, bus and tramway networks in the Île-de-France region and around the world, via its numerous subsidiaries. Its top priorities are sustainable mobility and quality passenger services and it says it innovates constantly to provide safer, more environmentally friendly and accessible public transport services.

The Group is one of the rare public transport specialists to manage a 100-year-old, multi-modal transport network: the Parisian network, which it is adapting to, "meet new expectations while guaranteeing daily operations".

It also has set numerous records, such as the Gautrain Express - the most modern train in Africa, or Dubai’s 75km fully-automated metro network, or the 72,000 passengers transported every hour to Mecca.

Since July 2017, Catherine Guillouard has been the Group’s CEO and chairwoman.


A land-locked country in West Africa, Burkina Faso covers an area of around 274,200 square kilometres. It is bordered by six neighbouring countries: Mali to the north; Niger to the east; Benin to the southeast; Togo and Ghana to the south; and Ivory Coast to the southwest. The capital is Ouagadougou.

In 2017, its population was estimated at slightly more than 20 million. Burkina Faso uses French as its official language of government and business. It was formerly known as the Republic of Upper Volta (1958–1984), until the country was renamed Burkina Faso on 4 August, 1984.

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