The new buses will be part of a 700-vehicle fleet offering upgraded public transportation to Casablanca residents.
Rabat – Morocco’s Minister of Industry Moulay Hafid Elalamy visited a factory in Skhirat, near Rabat, to check on the ongoing production of Casablanca’s new bus fleet on Thursday, June 25.
The factory is set to produce 200 buses by the end of 2020. “So far, we have produced 60 buses,” said Elalamy.
The new buses are produced by Spanish bus manufacturer Irizar, using chassis by Swedish company Scania.
During the visit, the minister commended the quality of the buses, saying the vehicles respect international quality and safety norms.
“The buses are certified according to European norms. Their design allows them to never flip over. It is a rare design across the world that focuses on comfort and safety,” Elalamy said.
“The vehicles are also equipped to facilitate access for people with special needs,” he added.
The vast majority of engineers and technicians working in the factory are Moroccan, the minister revealed.
“Today, the local integration rate in the automotive industry is 41%, but will soon reach 60%,” Elalamy said.
“We hope in the future that all the buses operating across the kingdom will be made in Morocco, by Moroccan workers and Moroccan engineers,” he concluded.
The new buses are set to begin operating in Casablanca in 2021 as part of a new upgraded bus fleet.
The upgrade of Casablanca’s bus fleet comes after the city’s inhabitants expressed dissatisfaction with the services provided by M’dina Bus, the company that managed buses in Casablanca from 2004 to 2019.
In October 2019, Casablanca’s city council terminated the contract with M’dina Bus and signed an agreement with Spanish company Alsa.
Rebranded into “Alsa Al Baida,” the company is expected to restructure bus transportation in the Moroccan metropolis and offer upgraded services to the public.
Alsa currently operates a fleet of used buses, taken over from M’dina Bus or imported from Europe, pending the manufacture of its new fleet.
The new bus fleet will include 700 vehicles, including the 200 locally-produced buses from the Skhirat factory.
After their deployment, the buses will operate in a network linking the 18 municipalities of Casablanca and its region.