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As of June 2014, there were 129 active Urban Transport projects in the six World Bank regions. These projects exhibit a wide range of features, reflecting inherited local conditions, the nature and rhythms of socio-economic changes, the vintage of client-Bank relations, and the effort of the Bank to tailor its support to the countries' needs and priorities. A common goal of these projects is to protect and develop public transport services and non-motorized transport modes, with underlying meta-objectives of social equity and environmental sustainability, along with the strengthening and capacity building of public institutions involved in urban transport.

East Asia & Pacific 
Europe & Central Asia
Latin America & Caribbean
Middle East & North Africa
South Asia 


 $3,594 million
 Context: Sub-Saharan Africa’s cities are growing rapidly. New jobs, failing crops, natural disasters, and conflicts force people to relocate to urban areas. It is expected that by 2030 one in two Africans will live in a city. In most cases, authorities have had difficulty meeting the service demands of the new urban residents, particularly the poor. The World Bank proposed recommendations for improving urban transport in African cities consist in stepped measures to improve bus service reliability, bus network reach, traffic management, infrastructure, development of metropolitan transport authorities and of bus rapid transit systems.
 Featured project: Lagos Urban Transport Project 2
View all Africa projects

East Asia & Pacific

 $6,969 million
Context: By 2025 East Asia will absorb almost 500 million new urban residents, and achieve urbanization rates of over 50%. Increases in population, and the pace of motorization, coupled with a rise in income, and accelerating and unplanned peri-urban growth, will all further worsen congestion, pollution, and safety levels. The management of increasing demand for transport services will require new infrastructure, but most importantly, capable institutions which are responsive to local dynamics and fiscal conditions. The World Bank is strongly supporting activities such as improved traffic management and bus rapid transit to improve the efficiency of urban transport. Cities in the region have used Bank support to enhance both the physical road and public transport infrastructure and also to improve planning methods, as well as regulatory, operational and management systems.
Featured project: Jiaozuo Green Transport and Safety Improvement Project
View all East Asia and Pacific projects

Europe & Central Asia

 $794 million
Context: The region includes both low- and middle-income countries, some of which have experienced impressive economic growth, while poverty, inequality, and unemployment remain high in others. The common factor is their recent history of transition from planned to market economies. This has had a profound impact on their transport industries. The Bank Group focuses increasingly on promoting trade growth and regional integration. As in other World Bank regions, the demand for advice and financial products for urban transport development is also likely to increase. There are ongoing preparations for a possible Warsaw Urban Transport Project (DPL).
Featured project: Russia: National Urban Transport Improvement Project (Pipeline)
View all Europe and Central Asia projects

Latin America & Caribbean

 $7,147 million
Context: The region is one of the world’s most urbanized, but nearly 40% of the urban dwellers live in poverty, and as much as 25% live in crowded slums with few transport options. Expanding physical infrastructure into poor settlements and providing affordable mass transit are fundamental to improving mobility and access to economic and social opportunity. Topographic and meteorological conditions, along with a high motorization rate, result in congestion and pollution in many cities. Some large cities in the region have successfully developed efficient mass transit systems; however, much remains to be done. The Bank is supporting initiatives such as the implementation of affordable bus rapid transit systems targeted to the poor, the modernization of urban and suburban rail systems, the coordination of land-use and transport policies, as well as the introduction of sector reforms to reorganize the provision of services and reduce negative environmental impacts. The Bank Group is also involved in projects aiming at improving air quality and lowering greenhouse gas emissions throughout the region, using resources from the Global Environment Facility. This is part of the transport contribution to the global climate change agenda in Latin and Central America.
Featured project: Quito Metro Line One
View all Latin America and Carribean projects

Middle East & North Africa

 $873 million
Context: With almost 60% of its population living in cities, the MENA region is far more urbanized than East or South Asia. With the transformation of the economy and deep seated social changes taking place, most cities have experienced rapid growth in urban transport demand and in motorization. Yet, the development of urban transport systems has lagged and this has fostered excessive reliance on private automobiles. As a result, many of the region’s large urban areas, where the bulk of GDP is produced, face increasingly difficult transport problems with a high degree of traffic congestion, reduced mobility, and deteriorating air quality. World Bank funded projects are either under implementation or preparation in Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco, and Egypt. Analytical and advisory activities (AAA) have been comparatively as important as lending in most countries, as clients seek assistance from the Bank in the design and evaluation of transport policies. Support for climate change mitigation is also expected to become an important area for support.
Featured project: Morocco: Urban Transport Sector DPL
View all Middle East and North Africa projects

South Asia

 $1,768 million
Context: With 400 million people living on less than a dollar a day, South Asia has the largest concentration of the poor of any region. Rapid urbanization, together with the rapid increase in motorized transport, leads to serious congestion and poor air quality in urban areas, creating new demands for transport infrastructure and services, over and above the existing backlog. Road safety is also an alarming problem, as India suffers over 85,000 road deaths each year and Bangladesh has a fatality rate per vehicle nearly 40 times that of the OECD. On-going priorities in the region include continued engagement in various megacities in the region (such as Mumbai, Chennai, and Dhaka), as well as in other medium-size cities in India and Pakistan, where controlling carbon emissions and factoring in the climate change agenda become critical.
Featured project: Kabul Urban Transport Efficiency Improvement Project
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An Analysis of Various Policy Instruments to Reduce Congestion, Fuel Consumption and CO2 Emissions in Beijing
(PDF, 2.4MB)

Using a nested multinomial logit model of car ownership and personal travel in Beijing, this paper compares the effectiveness of different policy instruments to reduce traffic congestion and CO2 emissions. The study shows that a congestion toll is more efficient than a fuel tax in reducing traffic congestion, whereas a fuel tax is more effective as a policy instrument for reducing gasoline consumption and emissions. 

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