With intercity buses still negotiating conditions to resume activity, trains are the main way of transportation between Moroccan cities.
Rabat – Approximately 350,000 passengers have used trains across Morocco since the government authorized the resumption of intercity travel on June 25, said a press release from the National Railway Office (ONCF).
ONCF resumed the activity of high-speed Al Boraq trains linking Casablanca to Tangier, as well as Al Atlas trains, linking Oujda, Marrakech, Tangier, and other cities.
The new phase of eased lockdown measures in Morocco also gave the green light to an increase in the frequency of commuter trains, known as TNR, between Kenitra and Casablanca Port station.
In the first week of resumed train activity, ONCF gradually increased from 116 trains per day to 144 trains based on the numbers of travelers, said the press release.
The railway office was able to increase the amount of trains thanks to the safety measures taken both in train stations and aboard the trains, the document added.
To ensure the safety of passengers and employees, ONCF enforced the wearing of face masks, limited the numbers of seats available in each train, and augmented the frequency of cleaning and disinfection operations in trains and train stations.
“The measures have made it possible to offer customers safe and responsible trips, while encouraging them to adopt the appropriate behaviors for traveling in good conditions,” said the press release.
ONCF is set to continue increasing the number of trains per day until it reaches its pre-lockdown levels “in the coming days,” the document concluded.
Train timetables became active across Morocco after a three-month suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As intercity travel was banned, only TNR trains, mainly used by commuters on the Kenitra-Casablanca axis, were still operating, albeit at a reduced frequency.
The resumption of long-distance intercity trains has allowed Moroccans to travel freely between cities in the government-designated Zone 1, the zone with eased lockdown measures. Zone 1 residents are only required to present their identity cards while purchasing train tickets.
Meanwhile, in train stations located in Zone 2, travelers are required to justify their travel with a special authorization to local authorities at the entrance and exit of the stations.