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Home / ANALYSIS / Site visit: Casablanca's new metro

Site visit: Casablanca's new metro

by Yamurai Zendera on Feb 3, 2013


Situated in Sidi Moumen suburb on 7ha of land. It will maintain 37 coupled trams 65m-long, but in prevision of future extensions, it is equipped to re
Situated in Sidi Moumen suburb on 7ha of land. It will maintain 37 coupled trams 65m-long, but in prevision of future extensions, it is equipped to re

Casablanca’s new $1.6bn tramway hails a new dawn in the city’s transport infrastructure. Never before has Morocco’s biggest city had a tramway, and it’s not before time.

Yamurai Zendera attended its inauguration to see history being made. Find out what went into delivering the 31km line and the efforts being made to ensure it keeps running smoothly

Casablanca’s new tramway system marks a major milestone for Morocco’s most populous city. At a final cost of $1.6bn (AED5.9bn), the 31km 48-station line, the longest ever built in one phase, is Casablanca’s first tramway – and by all accounts it’s badly needed. The Y-shaped network connects the congested city from an east to west axis.

Estimated to have the fifth-largest city population in Africa with five million people, Casablanca, like any burgeoning metropolis faces important transport challenges. Road congestion, a lack of public transport, safety, environmental and noise pollution are all issues that need addressing.

Through Casa Transports, the public authority in charge of the tramway network’s construction, the masterplan was twofold. On the surface, it was to have a transport system to move people across the city more efficiently, but more than that, it was to have one that would be a driver for social and economic regeneration.

Youssef Draiss, general director of Casa Transports, told CW about the wider significance of the tramway to the city.

He said: “Casablanca tramway is a real engine to the city, creating a new city dynamic and servicing business areas, public services, trades, tourism and entertainment centres through a mode of transportation that is fast, efficient and environmentally friendly.

The project brings real solutions to the lack of public transportation services as it operates in the suburbs and the city centre.

“Beyond its mere function, Casablanca tramway is also a political project that is part of a whole plan of the city’s development. The main objective is to upgrade Casablanca to the level of the worldwide metropolis, endowed with a modern identity, proud of its heritage and strengthening social cohesion.

“The social aspect is a dominant feature in the project. The tramway is in fact a unifying component of the city, connecting various neighbourhoods from Sidi Moumen suburb to Ain Diab coast, the city centre, main educational facilities, main business areas and main train stations.”

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