The new buses of Casablanca are set to go operational on Monday, February 15. The upgraded fleet is composed of 700 buses, including 450 brand new ones.
Casablanca’s Inter-Municipal Cooperation Establishment (ECI) and the Regional Council of Casablanca-Settat officially commissioned the new bus fleet today, February 12.
Operated by “Alsa Al Baida,” the Casablanca branch of Spanish company Alsa, the bus fleet cost an investment budget of MAD 1.4 billion ($156.5 million).
The fleet will initially include 250 used buses, imported from Europe, and 450 brand new buses. But the city will gradually replace the used buses with brand new ones. The fleet will be completely made of new buses by the end of 2021, according to the ECI.
The commissioning of the new buses will go hand in hand with an updated network of public transportation, seeking to cover the entire Casablanca metropolitan area.
The bus network will serve some suburbs and outlying neighborhoods for the first time ever. The network will cover a radius of more than 30 kilometers outside of Casablanca.
A one-way bus trip inside Casablanca will cost five dirhams ($0.56). Trips to and from the surrounding towns, meanwhile, will cost between six and eight dirhams ($0.67-$0.89), depending on the distance travelled.
Inside the metropolis, Alsa will partner with RATP Group, the company managing tramways, to offer tram-and-bus tickets.
Casablanca residents have long awaited the launch of the new bus fleet, hoping it will fix the public transportation challenges they have experienced for decades.
Inhabitants of Morocco’s largest city have regularly 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 its contract with M’dina Bus and signed a 10-year agreement with Alsa.
The Spanish company pledged to restructure bus transportation in the city and offer upgraded services to the public.