National Express Group acquired Spanish transport company ALSA in 2005. The multinational company recently took over urban transport in Rabat.
Rabat – National Express, already the main bus operator in 6 Moroccan cities, has doubled its presence in Morocco. The UK transport company is set to take on Casablanca’s bus service having signed €1 billion dollar contract.
The company, operating as ALSA in Spain and Morocco, took over operations of the municipal buses in Rabat in August and plans to reinvigorate Casablanca’s transport system.
Dean Finch, the company’s chief executive, expressed his satisfaction with deal which well and truly seals National Express’ growing “I am delighted we have secured this significant contract in Morocco. This nearly doubles our presence in Morocco, which had already doubled in August with Rabat’s successful start-up.”
The latest contract comes into effect in November with 400 buses transporting 100 million passengers a year. National Express will introduce a further 300 buses in 2020.
Over the course of the contract, set to last 10 years with an option to extend a further 5 years, the UK company plans to introduce new payment schedules and systems, as well as redesigning the network.
A press release from National Express reflected the company’s wish to expand their presence in Morocco. “As in other Moroccan cities, there is opportunity for further growth in other local Casablanca transport markets, such as school buses and tourist services.”
National Express merged with Spanish bus company ALSA in 2005. ALSA won its first contract in Morocco in 1999, bidding for, and winning, operation of Marrakesh’s urban transport system.
The company now operates the bus service in Rabat, Khouribga, Agadir, Tangier, Marrakesh, and, as of November, Casablanca.
ALSA, as part of the National Express Group, will be taking the contract over from M’dina Bus, the company that has managed buses in Casablanca since 2004.
The city’s contract with M’dina Bus will expire at the end of October.Transport in Casablanca has long been a source of discontent for Casablanca’s population. The M’dina Bus fleet was made up of old, poorly maintained buses. In January 2019, a bus belonging to the company caught fire in the middle of a crowded intersection. Fortunately, no human casualties were recorded.