BANJUL – On Tuesday 28 April 2020, the Director General of the Gambia Tourism Board (GTBoard) and the Chief Executive of the Africa Infrastructure Fund (AIF) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together to undertake a feasibility study for a proposed Elevated Mass Transit Rail System (EMTRS) in the Greater Banjul Area (GBA).
The feasibility study will investigate the commercial viability and operational sustainability of a proposed EMTRS. This will alleviate road traffic congestion experienced by travelers in the GBA. If feasible, the proposed transit rail network will introduce a modern state of the art, solar powered, intermodal and internodal system, that would transport travelers safely, comfortably, affordably and for significantly reduced times. This would lead to a drastic shift from vehicular road ridership, resulting in less traffic congestion and travel times. It will markedly improve air quality due to less emission from exhaust fumes as ambient conditions improve over time. Furthermore, this modal shift will lead to less carbon emissions due to reduced vehicles on roads along the same corridors.
The feasibility study will inter alia undertake technical, engineering, financial and economic, institutional, land use, social and environmental assessment, and stakeholder mapping and analysis. Also, meaningful and participatory consultations with all stakeholders, including all relevant public (national and sub-national) and private institutions, communities and potentially affected groups will be done as part of the study. Furthermore, it will develop an implementation plan and recommend the most viable and optimally feasible project design, construction, operation and maintenance structure. Finally, the study will also advise on the modalities to finance the proposed EMRTS through a commercially viable private placement that will neither require nor incur any contingent liabilities on the Government Budget.
The feasibility study will explore a backbone network of routes with interconnected segments, starting with the most optimal segment first, along the following corridors;
• Brikama > Banjul International Airport > Westfield Junction > Banjul
• Brikama > Banjul International Airport > Brusubi Junction > Senegambia Junction > Kairaba Avenue Traffic Light Junction > Westfield Junction > Banjul International Airport
With possibly the following interconnectors:
• Kartong > Gunjur > Brufut > Brusubi > Sukuta > Bakoteh > Serrekunda > Westfield Junction
• Brikama > Banjul International Airport
• Westfield Junction > Kanifing Industrial Estates/Jimpex Junction > Banjul
The procurement process to select the consulting firm contracted to undertake the feasibility study will follow a two-step process, beginning with a request for expressions of interest to establish a shortlist of technically sound and qualified firms. Those firms will subsequently be invited to submit their proposals. The study is expected to be carried out over a six- to ten-month period.
After the conclusion of the feasibility study, a task force made up of representatives of all relevant stakeholders will be established to implement the recommendations of the feasibility study.