The State Secretariat of Public Works and Tripoli Municipality is expected to issue tender documents for construction contracts for the new metro system in Tripoli by the end of this year.

The authorities are currently reviewing plans for three metro lines that will run across the city and according to contractors hoping to bid for construction work on the project, prequalification and tendering could begin later this year.

In total, the network will be 104 kilometres long and will be developed in phases. The first phase to be built will be the red line. It will run 41km from the airport to the city centre and then east towards Tajura. This line will also branch out to a future central railway station that is currently being planned. When completed, the red line will have 27 stations and 22km of the line will be underground.

Tripoli has been planning to build a metro system since the early 1990s, and it prepared preliminary plans for the network in 1994. Two Hungarian companies, Tesco Consulting and Uvaterv, recently completed a review of that study.

North Africa is developing its rail infrastructure and most of the countries in the region are carrying out metro projects as a way of reducing congestion and improving the flow of traffic in urban centres (MEED 29:9:09).

Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and Algeria are in the process of building or expanding their metro systems.