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Casablanca tramway: nearly 22 million passengers in a year

Rabat- A total of 21.812 million passengers have travelled aboard the Casablanca tramway since the tramway made its appearance a year ago on 12/12/12, according to Maghreb Arab Press (MAP).

This traffic generated revenue of 123 million dirhams ($15 million), said Yasmine Mekki, the director for communication of the Casa Tram, a group in charge of the operation and maintenance of this mode of transport, according to the same source.

The goal of 100,000 passengers per day, set for the end of the year, was reached after a month, but only during working days (Monday to Friday) and strengthens the projections of 250,000 travelers by the end of 2015.

All the operating indicators of the first Casablanca tramway line are positive since the tramway made its appearance in the city. Thus, the frequencies of trains (37 trains running on the line) are now 5 min 15 sec on the common section (Sidi Moumen – Anual) and ten minutes on the branch lines, with a speed of 18.1 km/h (Sidi Moumen – Ain Diab) and 18.8 km/h (Sidi Moumen – faculties), according to Yasmine Mekki on the occasion of the tramway’s first anniversary.

The number of passengers using this mode of transport has also sky-rocketed, exceeding two million passengers per month from May to July, and September, peaking at 2.249 million passengers in November.

Subscriptions (weekly, monthly and students) introduced in February represent 15% of trips with 15,861 active subscriptions. A plan of action is in place to encourage companies and business, students and the general public to subscribe.

However, the behavior of road users, especially pedestrians and drivers, is a serious problem with no less than 180 accidents since the tramway was launched, a high frequency of 0.8 accidents every 10,000 kilometers travelled by trains.

On average, 80 per cent of accidents happen at crossroads where, unfortunately, motorists, pedestrians and bikers do not follow the signals.

Acts of vandalism are another concern to the management of Casa Tram. Indeed, 10 stations have been degraded, a tickets distributor pulled out (Bachkou station), and many barriers and two billboards have been destroyed, not to mention piles of garbage heaped up along the way.

This first line covers many areas and neighborhoods but remains insufficient to meet the growing needs of public transport users in Casablanca. To achieve this goal, according to the President of Casablanca’s City Council Mohamed Sajid, a full/complete transport network with three other tram lines, a RER (an express train) and another subway line must be established to connect the dense zone and urban extensions.

This will require a 157-kilometer network of line including 57 kilometers of RER that connects Mohammedia and Mohammed V airport passing by the center of Casablanca, with an underground section of 9 km between Casa Port and Casa South.

The network will also include an elevated train running for 15 km, with a cost of 8 billion dirhams to serve high density neighborhoods (Rchid Moulay Sidi Othman, Sbata, Derb Sultan, Maaraif and Burgundy), that represent two million people with an estimated traffic of 400,000 passengers per day.

The tramway crosses the city from east to west over a distance of 31 km, this is the longest train line ever built at once in Casablanca, connecting major areas of the city and including 48 stop stations. Each 65-meter long train can accommodate 604 passengers including 105 seats, with an expected number of 250,000 passengers per day in 2015.

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