Antananarivo: the first urban train inaugurated on August 15

It’s confirmed. Antananarivo’s first urban train will be put into service from August 15, in just under a month. It will connect Soarano station to Amaronakona (By-Pass). This new means of transport in the capital will make it possible to alleviate road congestion and will certainly not fail to arouse the enthusiasm of the people of Tananarivo.

This urban train project is initially planned to operate with electricity. However, in view of the recurring problems of electricity supply, another alternative was taken. For its launch, the train will be fueled with diesel, said the Ministry of Transport and Meteorology. A short-term solution if we are to believe the words of the ministry, pending the implementation of the process of electrification of stations. From next year, it is planned to run entirely on electricity.

The locomotives and wagons arrived at the port of Toamasina since the end of May, confirmed the report of the Council of Ministers of July 12. The State will proceed with the electrification of 8 stations crossed by the urban train, including 4 main stations and 4 other small stations. The Ministry of Transport has indicated, however, that 5 stations out of the 8 will be operational initially. The upgrade of the railways started in 2020 on a first section of 12 km between Soarano and Amoronankona should be completed by the inauguration. Last March, the ministry indicated that the works were at 60% physical completion.

Unless there has been a change, the price of the urban train ticket will be identical to the price of a taxi-be race, i.e. 600 Ar, a price announced in 2021 by Gérard Andriamanohisoa, secretary general in charge of new cities and habitat.

Special measures are also required to avoid the risk of accidents. The Urban Commune of Antananarivo, the Ministry of Transport and Madarail, which operates the line, met yesterday and are planning an education and awareness campaign for the population as well as the closing of the railway lines.

According to figures from the Ministry of Transport, about 2 million people travel daily between the city center and the peripheral regions of Antananarivo. Of the 4.5 million daily trips in the capital, more than 1 million are made by taxi-be. Nearly 2,700 taxi-be circulate every day in downtown Antananarivo. This flow should double within the next 15 and 20 years according to the city’s growth forecasts. The average daily travel speed could increase from 21 km/h in 2018 to 16 km/h in 2033 according to a 2019 JICA study.

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