Metro and tram, the traffic solution in Algeria

The five-year SNAT plan 2015-2019 promoted by the ministry of transport of algeria is committed to land transport in cities where trams and metros are implanted as the best option. After the creation of algiers metro and trams of Constantine and Oran, there are 10 cities that plan to build one. We analyze the situation of each city.

Algeria has a population of about 38 million, with a forecast of 42 million by 2025. 65% of this population lives in urban areas and 40% on the coast. Because of this increase in population, the Ministry of Transport of Algeria has launched a strong investment plan to equip their cities in a railway network ca­pable of mobilizing citizens. Today there are 10 cities that are being built or are in various stages of studies for metro or tram networks, so that Algeria is positioned as a country of high business interest for Spanish companies. “Algeria is an attractive country for Span­ish engineering companies due to the major projects being carried out in the country. The needs can­not be covered only with domestic companies, for which the country is increasingly demanding foreign participation in their projects. Their own national companies are seeking foreign partners to access more business opportunities and leverage the know-how that is not available,” says Jose Antonio Doroño de los Ríos, market analyst at the Economic and Commercial Office of the Embassy of Spain in Algiers.

Currently the Algerian economy still has a protectionist behaviour that prevents reaching full eco­nomic liberalization. “The require­ments imposed by agencies to carry out projects are becoming ever more complicated -Doroño continues-. It should also be noted that the proceedings that Spanish companies must carry out have to be realized event before starting to develop their activity, such as approvals, obtaining documents, etc. and drawbacks with which it can subsequently encounter to remit profits. So those Spanish companies wishing to operate in the country should be aware that Algeria is a country with a higher business risk than in, for exam­ple, European countries, as it is in constant legislative changes, especially in those cases that re­quire a capital investment in the country. In the case of commercial operations this risk is lower, but still present.” Despite these draw­backs, many Spanish companies are already operating and work­ing in Algeria because the current projects and investments are posi­tioning the country as a business opportunity.

Metros and trams in operation

Urban rail transport is in full de­velopment. Currently, the country has metro in Algiers and tram in Algiers, Oran and Constantine, thus railway routes are planned in more than 10 cities.

One of the priorities of the gov­ernment in 2010 was to give the big cities a proper transport net­work for their citizens. Therefore, the government invested 890 mil­lion euros in building the country’s first subway in Algiers, consisting of 9.5 km, ten stations and trans­ports a million people monthly. Its construction was carried out by Sener and GESI-TP (Engineering), Siemens, Vinci and Systra, while rolling stock is CAF. It also has a tram line, Algiers-East, whose con­struction began in 2006 and end­ed in late 2010. Its construction was carried out by the interna­tional grouping Mediterrail (which includes Alstom, Todini and ETRHB Haddad). Although currently the Algerians do not use the subway much due to the high cost of the ticket that represents to them (50 cents), the fact that it is expand­ing its network leads to the con­clusion that it will cover more area and therefore will be more effec­tive. Its tram network is also ex­panding (see following pages).

Another city that has a tram line that is now operational is Oran, in operation since May 2013. It has a length of 18.7 kilometres and 32 stations. Engineering works were carried out by Isolux Koran and rolling stock owned by Alstom.

Finally, Constantine has a tram line of 8.9 km, with 11 stations and was inaugurated in 2013. Its construction was carried out by a consortium formed by Isolux Corsán, Alstom and Cosider.