Route details are now available of the new 19.5km, €318 million light rail system which opened for commercial public service on 23 May in Rabat, Morocco, following three days of free rides. The opening ceremony was attended by local officials, including Loubna Boutaleb, managing director of project promoter STRS, and Lemghari Essaki, chairman and managing director of AAVB, the agency responsible for the Bouregreg Valley development programme.
The Alstom Citadis trams are running from 07:00 till 21:00 Mondays to Fridays and between 07:00 and 13:00 on Saturdays - every 15 to 17 minutes on Line 1 and every 30 minutes on Line 2. A single fare of 7 dirhams is payable .Initially, all 21 stops between Hay Karima and Madinat Al Irfane on Line 1 are being served, and part of Line 2 from Hassan II to Bab Chellah.
By late June, five more stops on the 2.5km section of Line 2 from Bab Chellah to Hôpital Moulay Youssef should be open. It is intended to raise service frequency to every 1o minutes, and the weekday hours of operation are to be from 06:00 till 23:00. When the rolling stock delivery is complete, there will be 44 Citadis trams, working as 19 married pairs and six single units.
The system is being financed in equal shares by AAVB and what are described as “European sources”. Transdev's six-year operating and maintenance contract is worth 792m dirhams. A northern extension of Line 1 to Avenue des FAR is expected to open in 2013, as well as an additonal portion of Line 2 to the Institut Supérieur de Recherche Scientifique.
The department of public enterprise and the National Treasury have indicated that they intend to consolidate procurement for locomotives into a single institution, under the directorship of Transnet....