Some Lessons from the LRT in Tunis and the Transferability of Experience


Xavier Godard

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - capacity, infrastructure - interchange/transfer, economics - operating costs, mode - rail, mode - tram/light rail, mode - tram/light rail, mode - mass transit, mode - subway/metro


Underground railways, Tunis (Tunisia), Transit, Transferability, Technology, Subways, Studies, Ridership, Public transit, Patronage (Transit ridership), Operating costs, Mass transit, Local transit, Light rail transit, Investments, Investment requirements, Implementation, Developing cities, Design, Cost of operation, Casablanca (Morocco), Capacity, Automobile use, Automobile usage, Automobile travel, Algiers (Algeria), Alger (Algeria), Accessibility


Considering the debate about the technological options to get a modern mass transport supply in developing cities the experience of Tunis is very interesting to analyse and to appraise as this city is operating a light rail transit (LRT) network since 1985. This paper presents the elements of success of this experience (satisfying level of ridership, moderate cost of investment, coverage of operating cost by receipts, accessibility of the central area, etc.) but also its limits coming from the limited capacity at the city scale and the inability to stop the extension of the car use in the city. That means this project has to be completed by another one, more complex and costly which would consist of a railway regional network, which is now studied in detail. A short comparison is made with other cities in Maghreb (Algiers, Casablanca) experimenting also the design of metro projects which were more ambitious but with less success as they could not yet be implemented. Among the lessons thrown from this experience one insists on the importance of studies which have accompanied the design and the implementation of the project.


Transportation Research Part A Home Page: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/09658564