The population of Bissau, the capital of Guinea-Bissau, – 492,004 – is estimated to have 640,000 by 2030 under 2.45% population growth projection. As people increasingly flock to the city, its road network is coming under increased pressure, especially when it comes to public transportation.
Rely on loan
Guinea-Bissau lays claim to one of the world’s lowest rates of per capita GDP – US$ 848 in 2020 – and its economy is based on agriculture and fisheries, primarily the exportation of cashew nuts and groundnuts and this has made it difficult for the country to attain financial independence. As it remains reliant on loans from other countries for development, Guinea Bissau’s government has been unable to invest substantially in its travel and tourism industry, a fact which is evidenced in the industry’s general underdevelopment.
Lack of Public Transportation
Poor transportation infrastructure presents a significant danger on most roads throughout Guinea-Bissau. Road conditions are extremely poor, and drivers often engage in unsafe behavior.
Toca-toca or minibus is the most popular choice for intra-city travel. Sept-places (seven-seated Peugeot) and candongas (large vehicles that can carry up to 10-20 passengers) are also common.
The Toca-toca is in poor condition and the drivers often disregard road rules.
Traffic Congestion and Dangerous Road Condition
Traffic conditions in Bissau present numerous challenges. Perpetual construction projects and changing traffic patterns in Bissau have led to significant congestion.
The erratic, continuous stop-and-go of small transport buses (toca-tocas) creates unpredictable traffic patterns.
The lack of lighting and the poor physical condition of the roads make driving at night dangerous and inadvisable.
Fake money is common
Counterfeit currency is widely distributed among illicit vendors in tourist areas. Avoid using black-market moneychangers.
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No matter what currency is used, there will be fake money around unless it goes cashless especially for the high frequency used service like transportation.
Automatic fare collection (AFC) system as a crowdfunding tool
The AFC system can bring good cash flow to the public transportation system as there are a deposit and unused value on each passenger card. Every million passengers will contribute over US$ 1 million in cash flows based on our study. There will be approximately US$ 500,000 in cash flows for Bissau to invest in infrastructure.
Besides stopping fake money and driver’s fraud, the AFC system will bring in recurrent income from transaction fees. Every million passengers will bring US$ 5 million in income per year if the transaction fee is 5% based on our study. So, there will be US$ 2.5 million in income per year for Bissau and it is expected to become US$3.2 million by 2030.
Sustainable growth in public transportation development can be easily achieved.
Sustainable growth in public transportation development can be easily achieved with the implementation of an Automatic Fare Collection (AFC) System.
However, most AFC systems are very expensive with comprehensive software for account-based and financial clearance.
A low cost and effective AFC system suitable for the Guinea-Bissau has to be used.
The writer is a frequency traveler. For more detail, please visit autofare.net.