Public transport "fatigues" employees in Morocco: World Bank

A World Bank survey of public transport in Morocco revealed the relationship between the quality of public transport services and employee performance and performance. Transportation “fatigues” employees who are often faced with a “real nightmare”, the study says.

According to 40% of companies interviewed in the survey, “public transport can have a negative impact on employee retention”, meaning that if transport services are not up to par or improve workers’ lives, they are more likely to seek work elsewhere where there are fewer constraints, and where employment is closer to their place of residence.

The World Bank indicates in this sense that transport creates high staff turnover, affects employee performance as it promotes employee burnout, which penalizes companies.

The companies interviewed were questioned on several bases and on the skepticism of their activities, in particular the nature of their establishment, the accessibility to their factories, the daily movements of their employees and the transport policies adopted by their companies.

The case study was conducted with business leaders and managers from 31 establishments in the textile sector, including 60% located in Casablanca, 20% in Tangier, 13% in Fez and 7% in Marrakech. However, the authors believe that the results are not “statistically significant” since the number of respondents is limited.

But the results “are nevertheless indicative, and this experiment shows that it is possible to identify travel habits in a simple, effective and easily transposable way on a larger scale”, say the experts.

The World Bank study is particularly interested in workers in the informal sector and those with low incomes, and especially women, who “who assume most of the household chores and childcare”.

“You have to juggle multiple means of transportation, make sure transportation is as cheap as possible, plan for unexpected disruptions, coordinate your schedules with other family members, worry about possible security issues or harassment, while taking care not to arrive late for work”, indicate the economists of the institution.

The easy transition between home and work can turn into a “real nightmare” for people on low incomes or in the informal sector, in particular because of the need to take several means of transport to get to the workplace.

“Workplace accessibility has become a mental burden for workers as well as business leaders” and executives in various industries, say the expert signatories of the World Bank study.

The study clearly explains, “irregular transport services led to a high rate of employees changing workplaces and becoming fatigued”.

For employers, the study highlights a double penalty related to transport since they finance this same public transport through their taxes which they pay while companies cannot benefit from public transport services in return due to their inadequacy and irregularity.

In addition, some companies choose to bear the costs of transport services for their workers, and this imposes additional costs which further damage their competitiveness, the study points out.

Finally, experts point out that while providing transportation services to employees is one way to boost business production, it can turn the problem “into an internal problem.”

Furthermore, requiring private companies to provide safe and efficient transport services to their employees will have an impact on the number of passengers likely to use public transport services and this would lead to a drop in demand, “reducing thus the incentives to improve public transport services”.

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