The first phase of the Algiers tramway has started operating after a delay of more than one year.

The first phase is 7.2 kilometres long and runs from Cinq Maisons to Bordj el-Kiffan district in the eastern suburbs of Algiers. It has 13 stations.

In 2006, a consortium comprising France’s Alstom, Italy’s Todini and local ETRHB won the construction contract for the first line of the tramway. The line was initially expected to be operational in 2009.

Two extensions of the line from Hussein Dey to Bab Ezzouar and another extension between Bordj el-Kiffan and Dergana are already under construction. When these extensions are complete, the line will be a total of 23km and will have 38 stations.

Additional kilometres will become operational every six months until the first line reaches its ultimate length of 23 kilometres.

Alstom and the consortium is now carrying out civil engineering and infrastructure works for the extensions, including platform construction, rail, electrification, signalling and ticketing. Alstom is also responsible for maintaining the tramway and related-equipment for 10 years.

Algeria is planning to build more than 200 tram lines across 14 cities over the next 10 years (MEED 17:4:11). The investment is due to worsening congestion in various cities across the country and forecasts that about 20 cities in Algeria will house populations of more than 200,000 people.