Transport Notes

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The goal of Transport Notes series is dissemination of recent experiences and innovations in the World Bank Group’s transport sector operations.

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    Toward Efficient, Sustainable and Safe Urban Transport in Madagascar: Antananarivo and Other Major Cities - Synthesis Report
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2022-01-31) World Bank
    Madagascar remains to exploit agglomeration economies and urbanization economies to sustain more rigorous economic growth. After several political and economic crises, Madagascar restored its modest but steady growth path with an average growth rate of 3.5 percent in the last 5 years (before the COVID-19 pandemic). Yet, the country’s performance remains less favorably compared with other countries in the region. Poverty is persistently high in Madagascar, with a large spatial disparity in poverty incidence across areas. Most rural residents, about 80 percent, remain poor. Urban poverty is relatively modest but is also an important challenge for Madagascar. The urban poor is particularly vulnerable to external shocks, such as COVID19. The pandemic is likely to reverse more than a decade of gains in poverty reduction in Madagascar. This report aims to: (i) review the trends of urban transport developments in major cities in Madagascar, (ii) analyze the present and future demand for urban mobility with focus on Greater Antananarivo, (iii) review the current public infrastructure governance in the urban transport sector, comparing the government’s urban transport programs and other complementary interventions, to maximize the synergy among the programs, and (iv) provide high priority policy recommendations.
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    Twists and Turns: New Business Models
    (International Finance Corporation, Washington, DC, 2020-01) Graham, John
    Electric buses have been the fastest-growing electric vehicle segment over the past five years by a wide margin. The market is changing quickly as both national and local governments make new commitments to address climate change and the horrific air quality conditions that plague some cities. To convert these ambitious commitments into reality, there is need of investable and bankable business models that work on a standalone basis. The state-heavy model, complete with lavish subsidies, won’t work for developing countries. So, the marketplace needs to invent the wheel here. Based on the early work on electric vehicles, what are some of the business models taking shape are presented in the report.
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    Electric Buses: Why Now?
    (International Finance Corporation, Washington, DC, 2020-01) Graham, John
    There is a quiet revolution underway in a previously sleepy segment of the transport sector: the electrification of municipal buses and other intra-city vehicles. As McKinsey reported last October, the compound annual growth rate of battery-electric buses has exceeded 100 percent since 2013- surpassing that of every other electric vehicle segment. Investing in battery-electric buses - as well as other high-use vehicles, such as e-delivery trucks - is an effective way for International Finance Corporation (IFC) to move the needle on air quality and greenhouse emissions from urban transportation. The opportunity is massive, and IFC has the capacity to fast-track implementation. It’s time to hit the accelerator. A cocktail of technology, investment, and scale in electric buses (and other high-use intra-city electric vehicles) will soon reach a point where reliability and cost advantages create the death spiral for internal combustion engines. Superior technology and declining costs will eventually overwhelm the old, static, diesel driven transportation paradigm.
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    An EV Playbook for Electric Buses
    (International Finance Corporation, Washington, DC, 2020-01) Graham, John
    What are the critical questions to ask if one is contemplating an e-vehicle program? Based on the technical and business proposals International Finance Corporation (IFC) has seen so far, this report presents some factors for e-bus proposals. The broad-based electrification of buses and other urban transport represents a massive investment opportunity for IFC and other investors to invest in higher quality, sustainable transport while addressing climate change and improving air quality. At the same time, this sector is beset with some of the trickiest issues related to transport infrastructure, power, municipal finance, and even local politics.