Capacity Building and Business Planning in Vientiane

Vientiane station
Credit: ITDP China

Vientiane, Laos is a small but growing city. Traffic, which was nearly nonexistent just a few years ago, is now growing quickly and jams are becoming a part of everyday life. The Asian Development Bank is spearheading the Vientiane Sustainable Urban Transport Project (VSUTP) to reverse this reality before Vientiane goes the way of so many other Asian cities. With components of BRT, NMT, and parking management, the VSUTP has the opportunity to create a livable, walkable, pleasant Vientiane with a strong downtown that continues to draw tourists, still so critical to the Lao economy. BRTPlan has taken on the crucial role of building the government’s capacity to implement this project.

BRTPlan spent the month of December 2015 in Vientiane interviewing government entities, departments, and individual staff to assess existing capacity and roles within the government. BRTPlan then used its extensive experience with institutional structuring to recommend an appropriate structure to manage this major project. BRTPlan sees this initial engagement as a first step towards preparing the government in Vientiane to manage the design, construction, and operations of these important projects.

In Winter 2018, BRTPlan returned to Vientiane in order to advise the business plan for the Vientiane Capital State Bus Enterprise (VCSBE), the expected operator of the VSUTP’s BRT component. BRTPlan helped design the city’s contract and tendering process that would enable VCSBE to modernize by forming a joint venture with a proven international transit operator. BRTPlan also advised the structuring of cash flow from system revenues to operators, regulators and contractors, in order to provide transparency and cement public trust in VCSBE.