West Bank Bus System in Ramallah – Resilient Cities in the Word!

Palestine is improving its characteristics to face climate change. The idea of Ramallah is to create a bank bus system to improve transport in urban districts, introducing equitable access, especially to vulnerable populations, ensuring system flexibility and redundancy that reduce disruption.

To enable efficient and equitable mobility within and around Ramallah, the Palestinian Ministry of Transportation, in collaboration with ORIO (the Dutch government’s office for infrastructure development) has launched the West Bank Bus system project. Through it, the city seeks to renew and maintain a West Bank bus fleet, including the development of a BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) component.

The initiative has the potential to impact 1.4 million residents. The three main pillars of the program are: to upgrade the physical infrastructure of the bus system (namely, leasing new buses to operators, constructing maintenance and storage facilities); introducing bus leasing charges designed to improve the sustainability of the sector; and defining clear service standards for bus companies.

The initiative addresses several challenges at once, including providing more economical service to end-users while also generating more employment opportunities in the transport industry. Key considerations will include providing equitable access, especially to vulnerable populations; ensuring system flexibility and redundancy that reduce disruption; and understanding the possible consequences for Ramallah’s existing shared taxi providers.

The project also has the potential to strengthen Ramallah’s EU performance standards, improving safety for riders and reducing GHG emissions and environmental pollution overall. The project is currently in the feasibility stage, which is being conducted by the World Bank, with 80% of the cost funded by the government of The Netherlands, and 20% by the Palestinian Authority. It is estimated to cost $20-50m over 1-3 years.