Prime Minister Sherif Ismail, Transport Minister Hisham Arafat and Alexandria Governor Mohamed Sultan decided on Monday to begin work on the project to upgrade Alexandria's 150-year-old tramway system next year, Al-Ahram Arabic website reported.
During the meeting, PM Ismail reviewed executive procedures on initiating the project to upgrade the tramway system, which is the oldest in Africa and one of the oldest in the world.
The project, which is set to be completed in early 2022, aims to increase passenger capacity to between 250 - 300,000 riders per day and is estimated to cost about 360 million euros.
Alexandria, Egypt's second-largest city with 4.5 million people, does not have an underground metro system and relies solely on above-ground means of transportation.
According to the governor, the tram's track, which stretches from the Victoria area to Mansheya Square, is 13.7 km long and passes through 28 stations.
The Alexandria tram system began operation in 1863 and is used by 12 percent of the city's commuters daily.
Governor Sultan explained in the meeting that the project aims to construct overpasses and electronic light signals, as well as to replace old tram units with modern ones.
The governor said that the project aims to upgrade facilities, stations and vehicles to increase the tram's capacity in order reduce traffic congestion in the city.
The officials decided to begin the project after approving studies made by consulting offices on urban transport in Alexandria.
A new company will manage the project with the support of foreign advisors.
In 2017, the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation signed a 100 million euro deal with the French Development Agency (AFD) to upgrade Alexandria's Raml tram line, known as the Blue Tram, which connects the city's western and eastern sections.
AFD will cover 100 million of the new project's total budget of 360 million euros, with another 180 million provided by the European investment bank.
Tram in Saad Zaghloul (Photo: Ahram Online)
Tram in central Alexandria (Photo: Ahram Online)