Despite being one of the densest cities in the Middle East, Beirut, Lebanon has only a rudimentary, informal minibus system. The influx of people from Syria due to the ongoing crisis there has resulted in competition for jobs as drivers of minibuses in Beirut and new tensions between local and foreign minibus operators.
The Government of Lebanon plans to build BRT on an improved Northern Highway between Tripoli and Beirut, which will also connect to Downtown Beirut. The World Bank is leading efforts to finance the system and help the government think through how the system should best be operated and financed. Since June of 2017, BRTPlan has been evaluating the proposed services, estimating demand, and recommending modifications from a business perspective. We’ve also been advising on how best to integrate the informal minibus operators into the BRT system, and how to structure the operating contracts to balance the needs of potential investors with the need to protect the public interest.