UITP MENA organized the annual seminar in Maghreb region on 31 January 2018 in Casablanca under the theme "Promoting public transport through effective policies and innovations".
This event welcomed 200 delegates from 26 countries. During the inauguration ceremony, Mr. Abdelaziz El Omari, President of Casablanca city council, spoke about the transportation strategy of the of Casablanca which will allow a radical restructuring of the urban mobility infrastructure of the metropolis.
Mr. El Omari presented the major projects that are aimed primarily at making mobility fluid, by reinforcing the tramway and bus lines, emphasizing the support of the State and the region of Casablanca- Settat, for the realization of an ambitious program aimed at sustainable mobility. According to him, Casablanca faces bus travel challenges. He informed that a Terms of Service is being implemented within the framework of Intercommunal Cooperation Union (UCI) to solve the problem of bus transport. "The operating deficit is present because the commune supports almost 40% of the ticket of the tramway " He acknowledged, stressing the need to find" long term "financing solutions.
Mr. Mohamed Faouzi, Wali, Secretary General of the Ministry of the Interior, explained that an innovative governance model has been put in place to adopt an appropriate perimeter for global management of urban mobility. He emphasized that the Ministry of the Interior of the Kingdom of Morocco has developed, the National Strategy for Urban Mobility with a view to establishing efficient urban transport systems, aiming for a user oriented public transport systems, and ensuring long term financial model. Mr. Faouzi pointed out that several Tramway lines are under construction in Casablanca and Rabat, BRT lines are under study or work phase in Casablanca, Agadir and Marrakech. Other Moroccan cities are also doing their Urban mobility plans (PDU). Mr Fazoui said that "This edition of UITP MENA seminar represents an opportunity for Morocco to exchange with the countries of the MENA region and joins the commitment that the Kingdom of Morocco has made to collaborations with Sub-Saharan Africa since its return to the African Union a year ago". Mr. Pere Calvet, UITP President, affirmed that Morocco has developed an innovative institutional and financial reform that is an interesting example for UITP members. Mr. Khaled Al Hogail, UITP MENA Président, was pleased to organize this event in Casablanca, one of the 16 UITP regional offices around the world, noting that the event will allow to share experiences among all sectors involved in urban mobility and to promote "networking between sub-Saharan countries and MENA region in the field of public transport.
The first session on measures to be taken into account for smart urban mobility brought together non-governmental and academic bodies. Recommendations to be undertaken for a global vision of mobility were cited such as: focusing on gender mobility, Recommendations on Innovative regulatory and financial instruments for sustainable urban mobility for Morocco, measures to reinforce intermodality and integration between different modes of urban travel and measures to be taken into account to reflect the electromobility in city centers
Second session brought together organizing authorities to discuss their experiences and expertise: Casablanca, Dubai, Johannesburg, and Dakar. The Moroccan experience of public transport governance was illustrated through the highlighting the long term financing system which represents an innovative tool established by the State since 2007. This edition of UITP MENA seminar highlighted the Moroccan experiences in terms of governance and financing of public transport, as well as the management of public transport networks. Recommendations drawn from the foreign experiences, will serve as reflection points for the improvement of the urban mobility sector in Morocco.