Referred to by locals as “automobile rapides,” that means ‘quick automobile,’ they are going to be phased out by 2018 because the capital of Senegal upgrades its city transportation community.
“The retreat of the automobile rapides grew to become an crucial to modernize public transport in Dakar,” mentioned Alioune Thiam, basic director of Dakar’s Government Council on City Transport (CETUD).
The present buses, he mentioned, are too outdated and the brand new ones will enhance security, consolation, accessibility, whereas additionally being far more environmentally-friendly.
The buses had been initially made by French carmaker Renault and introduced over to be used in 1976. They’re typically painted with slogans and pictures of Sufi holy males and animals and timber.
Whereas some could mourn the tip of those colourful, typically crammed buses, for a lot of they’re simply not sensible. In addition to their fume-spewing methods, their security is questionable and accidents occur often.
One vacationer who not too long ago visited Dakar mentioned: “I used to be shocked how harmful they had been — the again doorways swing open, there are males who hold off the again, typically instances casually hanging on nearly in a cocky type of approach. I used to be shocked additionally how many individuals appear to be on the buses, crammed inside as nicely,” mentioned London-based journalist Ginanne Brownell.
“I discussed how shocked I used to be about this harmful mode of transport to my translator. He laughed and acknowledged that it was fairly unsafe however that was a part of the Senegalese trendy panorama,” mentioned Brownell.
Throughout her go to, Brownell mentioned there was an accident in Dakar the place a bus had tipped over, killing over a dozen passengers. “My translator was a bit extra stoic after that, saying ‘Sure, we actually should do away with these buses. They’re colourful and shiny, with enjoyable pictures and messages painted on them, however they’re additionally very, very harmful.'”
Safer however dearer
Some locals have complained concerning the new buses, protesting concerning the fare enhance, up from 25 cents to 35 cents.
The federal government mentioned it’ll put money into coaching new drivers for the buses as town’s inhabitants of three million continues to develop.
Some have additionally urged that the brand new Indian and Chinese language-made buses preserve within the spirit of the automobile rapides, with native artists getting an opportunity to color them in an analogous colourful vogue. Metropolis officers mentioned they don’t seem to be contemplating this feature in the intervening time.