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Maputo Municipal Council has drastically slimmed down the proposal for a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system for the city, so that it would cost just 40 million US dollars, rather than the original 235 million.
But even with this 83 per cent reduction in costs, the Municipal Council still does not have the money necessary to implement the BRT scheme, according to the municipal councillor for transport, Joao Matlombe, cited by the independent television station STV.
Initially Brazil had pledged to finance the BRT, but the Brazilian National Economic and Social Development Bank (BNDES) suspended financing in October 2016 because some of the Brazilian construction companies involved were under investigation for corruption.
To save money, the Municipal Council reformulated the project. It simplified the planned BRT stations, making them look more like ordinary bus stops. In what seems a false economy, the Council eliminated the electronic ticketing system. The Council also scrapped the special, and expensive, type of asphalt used for BRT systems, and opted for ordinary asphalt
But even these cuts did not leave a project the Council could pay for. Nonetheless, Matlombe was optimistic that the Council could find partners to replace the Brazilians.
“We have several partners interested in supporting us”, he claimed. “We are working with the government and we are also seeking alternative domestic sources of finance”.Source: AIM
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