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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Implementation of Innovative Bridge Technologies: Technical Guidance Note

2022, World Bank

Bridges are critical components in the transport network and serve as vital links significantly contributing to social connection and economic production across the Pacific. Bridges are intrinsically exposed to natural hazards and impacted by climate change. Delays associated with the ongoing maintenance of bridges can also put additional strain on this infrastructure and leave them more susceptible to damage. Collectively, these issues serve as a catalyst to the continuing efforts of donors to support the research, exploration, development, and implementation of bridge solutions that consider a local context. This technical guidance note highlights the methodology and lessons learned from the implementation of innovative bridge technologies assessment study and its application under the World Bank-funded Solomon Islands Roads and Aviation Project. This case study focused on the use of a selected range of modular bridges that provide a low maintenance, long-term, whole of life bridge solution which illustrates how the quality of infrastructure investment can be improved by improving economic efficiency and building resilience. It also outlines a way forward for the implementation of these bridge technologies across the Pacific region.

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E-Bus Economics: Fuzzy Math?

2020-01, Graham, John

Electrifying the global urban vehicle fleet depends on the convergence of several economic, technological, and political factors. However, the big shift to electric vehicles will likely take place only when the economics of owning and operating electric becomes a no-brainer. Using the example of electric buses, two factors must fall into place before the electric option can take off: first, the upfront cost needs to come down and second, there needs to be a change in procurement culture towards lifecycle cost or total cost of ownership (TCO). If utilities can structure out fluctuations in power costs (through PPAs) and the marketplace moves to leasing and other fixed-price operations and maintenance arrangements, these calculations can standardize across the board quickly. This is when the math starts to get a lot less fuzzy.

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Electric Buses: Why Now?

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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Bumps in the Road: Challenges to E-bus Implementation

2020-01, Graham, John

Dozens of municipalities are experimenting with e-buses, while some last-mile delivery companies are using pilot fleets to test performance. At the same time, a smaller group of operators are pushing ahead with more drastic, big bang efforts to put dozens or even hundreds of electric vehicles into service. The authors saw how some locations have already reached total cost of ownership (TCO) parity, while other places will require further reductions in costs and perhaps some forward-thinking tax and tariff policies. The bad news is that the track record for electric buses to date has been mixed, and e-bus adoption has not scaled up as fast as many had hoped due to institutional, technical, and financial challenges. For those seeking to stay the course with internal combustion engines, there are plenty of valid arguments. This report will bring some of the problems out in the open.

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An EV Playbook for Electric Buses

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.

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Motorization Management in Ethiopia

2017, Gorham, Roger, Hartmann, Olivier, Qiu, Yin, Bose, Dipan, Kamau, Henry, Akumu, Jane, Kaenzig, Robin, Krishnan, Raman V., Kelly, Alina, Kamakaté, Fanta

Motorization management is the process of shaping, through public policies and programs, the profile, quality, and quantity of the motor vehicle fleet as motorization occurs. Across Africa, governments are struggling to manage the effects of rapid motorization and urbanization. In the past two decades, Africa has been the fastest urbanizing region in the world, growing at 3.44 percent on average which is much higher than the rate of other rapid developing regions, such as Asia and Latin America. Given that Africa remains the least developed region, the rapid urban growth pace will likely accelerate motorization development and challenge the limited resource base to meet the demand of the growing urban populations. While this motorization potentially means that more African people will be able to claim the benefits of improved access to opportunities and mobility, it raises alarming questions about the sustainability of this future. Will countries be able to build and maintain infrastructure to accommodate these vehicles Will the quality of the vehicles support African development goals and the region’s ability to meet the Sustainable Development Goals and climate obligations This report lays out plausible motorization policies that can be implemented by the government of Ethiopia.