Bus operators in Niger
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On the following pages series of buses in Niger organised by operator... JUST CLICK ON THE LINKED PICTURES!
Aïr Transport
Nijma Transport
GIAD 13 Transport
Africa Assalam T.V.
3S T.V.
Star T.V.
above: current operators
right: former operators
STM Ténéré
La Gazelle

The Société Nationale des Transports Nigériens (SNTN) was created in 1963 as a continuation of the Niger branch of the colonial Transafricaine company. It operated interurban buses and goods transport. It was 47% owned by the SAGA Group (branch of Rotschild) from France and 53% by the Niger government. In 1977 it took over the SNTU (Société Nationale des Transports Urbains), which operated the urban services in Niamey. In 1996, because of continuing difficulties, the urban services in Niamey were transfered to Société des Transports Urbains de Niamey (SOTRUNI) and the interurban services to Société Nigerienne de Transports de Voyageurs (SNTV). SNTN continued goods transport for "strategic and dangerous" goods. SNTN still has some passenger services in remote areas.

In 1997 the operationalisation of the structural re-adjustment plan of the IMF led to the privatisation of public transport. The two government companies SNTV and SOTRUNI play a marginal role and a dozen private operators in Niger now provide long-distance interurban and international services.

SONITRAV (Société Nigérienne de Transport Voyageurs)
EHGM (Elhadji Garba Maissagé) (old company)
Rimbo Transport Voyageurs (RTV) (new 2003)
Aïr Transport (old company)
SONEF Transport Voyageurs
Nijma Transport
GIAD 13 Transport
Azawad Transport Voyageurs
Africa Assalam Transport Voyageurs
3S Transport Voyageurs
Star Transport Voyageurs
STM Ténéré (new 2013)

Several foreign companies come to Niger: Inter Express from Ghana and Nour Transport from Mali. SONEF is an international company with buses in Mauritania, Mali and Niger. A small coach seen belonged to Cap Tours from Senegal.

The fleets beginning of the 1990's consisted of a mix of secondhand imports from Europe (mainly Mercedes) and modern new buses, among others DAF TB -Carici from Ivory Coast. Beginning of 2015 very few secondhand vehicles are present, new Chinese and Ivory Coast buses being the norm.. Rural transport is provided by truck-based buses, "taxi-brousses", minibuses and pick-ups, with Landrovers for the most remote areas.

Urban services in Niamey by SOTRUNI are very limited and most transport is taken care of by collective taxis (taxis têtes-rouges) and pick-ups (Talladjé-Talladjé) to some peripheral areas (see this publication).

Observations on interurban services made in 1990/1994 (John Veerkamp):
A fair number of larger buses is used on the long interurban routes Niamey-Maradi-Zinder-(Diffa) and Niamey‑Tahoua‑Agadez‑Arlit. On unsurfaced roads and on less important routes taxis‑de‑brousse (Peugeot 404 and other pick-ups with a cover, Renault SG2) and trucks (Saviem, Toyota) with open bus bodies are used. On good roads, large numbers of taxis (Peugeot 504) and japanese minibuses can be found. Services are provided by private companies, though the SNTN still has a small number of intercity buses. There are also quite a number of international services, to Cotonou in Burkina Faso, Abidjan in Ivory Coast, to Bénin, and other destinations. Various companies from those countries provide the services. For services to Nigeria, Peugeot 504 and minibuses are used. As an example, the trip from Niamey to Abidjan takes three days and costs 15,000 Francs CFA (= 150 French francs).

All towns have a bus station. The one in Niamey, called ecogare for reasons nobody could explain, is quite large and was completely renewed in 1991 or 1992. Larger companies have a small office within the bus station. Part of it is covered to protect passengers from sun and rain. The architecture is quite interesting and typical sahelian.

As mentioned above, the SNTN is supposed to provide services between the various major towns. The private companies mostly have only one or a few buses, which they use between two towns. The main route Niamey‑Maradi‑Zinder is the most popular, though some buses also go all the way up to Arlit. Most buses do not show a company name, but the following 14 companies were identified: Air Dossey, Aïr Transport, EGSS, E.H.G.M., EL-AHS, ELH.M.K.T.T., Hasbounalahi Wani-Imal W., H.M.M., I.H., Koibani-Kabani, La Gazelle, M.M.N., S.S., Yssoufou Alfaga.

Among the large buses, secondhand Mercedes Benz are the most popular, followed by new DAF TB2105-Carici, built in Ivory Coast. Among the smaller buses, Japanese Hino's are quite popular. Other, secondhand, buses are a Berliet, a few Setra S100-series, an OM‑Borsani and a few others (see various buses page).