Morocco is about to launch the “masterpiece” it has been busy constructing over the past few years: a tramway! Oh yes, finally the Moroccan population will be able to enjoy, for the first time ever, riding a tramway to get from the capital Rabat to its neighbouring city Salé in reduced time and complete comfort.
January 2011 is the date the Bouregreg Valley Development Agency (BVDA) has fixed for the launching of the long-awaited Rabat-Salé Tramway (RST), the first-ever tram transport system in Morocco. Constructed over three years and supervised by the BVDA, the RST is intended to connect the cities of Rabat and Salé and to offer a “different” public transportation means to its passengers and a sustainable solution to public traffic.
In fact, this 3.8 billion-dirham project aims to provide the citizens of Rabat and Salé with an affordable public travel pattern that combines pollution reduction, traffic safety and decline in dependence on cars.
Running on electricity and carrying a capacity of 180,000 passengers each day, this eco-friendly public transport means is the fruit of three years of hard engineering work and comes to enhance infrastructure in Morocco in general and to offer the cities of Rabat and Salé, in particular, a modernized urban aspect and a new vision of public transportation.
However, building a tramway for the first time in a city implies introducing a big change in the lifestyle of its citizens. And because change is not always welcome, some people tend to dread the running of the RST with respect to pedestrians’ safety, to the traffic and “how drivers will adapt to the new railway system, “to ticket prices and their affordability for users, etc.
Awareness campaigns will be launched to help drivers and passengers adapt to the new tramway situation, while the testing phase of the tramway is already in progress.
Two months therefore separate us from the final verdict: whether the 3.8 billion dirham investment in the tramway was worth the three-year wait (or not)!
If you are living in Morocco or have been in the country during the RST construction, what is your personal anticipated verdict? Do you think it is too late for Morocco to have a tramway? Will you ever be interested in riding the RST once it is running? Share your thoughts right here…!
Photo: Wikimedia Commons