Metro Express (Mauritius)

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Metro Express
Metro Express Mauritius.jpg
An Urbos 100-3 at Rose Hill Central Station
Overview
StatusOperational
LocaleMauritius
TerminiPort Louis
Curepipe
Stations7 (Phase 1)
19 (total planned)
WebsiteMauritius Metro Express
Service
TypeLight rail
Services1
Operator(s)Metro Express Ltd
Depot(s)Richelieu
History
Planned openingPhase 2: September 2021
OpenedPhase 1: 2 October 2019 (soft launch)
10 January 2020 (commercial launch)
Technical
Line length26 km (16 mi)
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Electrificationoverhead lines
Operating speed35-80 km/h[1]
Route map

Mauritius Metro Express Map.svg

Aapravasi Ghat
Port Louis Victoria
St Louis
Coromandel
Richelieu Depot
Barkly
Beau Bassin
Vandermeersch
Rose Hill Central
Belle Rose
Quatre Bornes Central
St Jean
Trianon
Phoenix
Palmerstone
Vacoas Central
Sadally
Floreal
Curepipe North
Curepipe Central

The Metro Express is a light rail public transport system in Mauritius.

The route, when completed, will run between the Port Louis District and Plaines Wilhems District.

History[edit]

Mauritius had been without a railway system following the closure of Mauritius Government Railways in the 1960s.

Due to increased car usage and chronic road congestion, plans for a light railway system have been proposed over many years.[2] On 31 July 2017 in Ebene the Government of Mauritius signed a contract for the creation of a light rail transit system.[3]

The project is led by the Indian company Larsen & Toubro, after winning a tender from the Government of Mauritius for 1,880 crore (18.8 billion), of which ₨ 990 crore (9.9 billion) is being provided by a grant from the Government of India.[4][5]

The first phase of the project was inaugurated on 2nd of October 2019 by the Prime Minister of Mauritius, Pravind Jugnauth and the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi.[6]

On 17 December 2019 Metro Express Ltd, the company running the system, announced that operations will start on 22 December 2019 at 11 am. For the initial period of 15 days the passengers were carried free of charge on presentation of a free ticket, valid in a given direction and for a given period of time. The promotional period ended on 10 January 2020.[7]

Construction[edit]

Phase 1 links Port Louis to Rose Hill. It was to be completed in September 2019 but the regular revenue service did not start until 10 January 2020. Phase 2 will extend the line from Rose Hill to Curepipe in September 2021.[3]

Some old railway tracks have been uncovered during construction in Rose Hill and may be used as exhibits for a Railway Museum.[8]

Fares[edit]

As of January 2020 single adult fare is ₨30 or ₨20 if the trip does not involve travelling between Coromandel and Barkly. Children below the age of 3 and eligible senior citizens and disabled people are entitled to free fares.[9]

Rolling stock[edit]

On 26 July 2017, CAF announced that they had won a tender to provide 18 Urbos 100-3 worth over €100 million. The deal also includes providing the signalling system, automatic vehicle location system (AVLS), transit signal priority system (TSPS), depot equipment and a driving simulator.[10]

Opposition[edit]

The Metro Express has been criticised by many[who?], especially as some people had to be expropriated because their land was on the route of the future line. Houses had to be destroyed. Trade unionists have also expressed their concern about the risk of job losses in the transport sector as the LRT system is implemented on one of the busiest routes of the island.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "About Metro Express". Mauritius Metro. Archived from the original on June 21, 2019.
  2. ^ Malley, Jan (August 16, 2017). "A consumer eye view of the Metro Express". lexpress.mu.
  3. ^ a b "Metro Express project to the tune of Rs 18.8 billion to kick-start in September 2017". Government of Mauritius. August 1, 2017.
  4. ^ "CAF, FOURNISSEUR DE 18 TRAMWAYS URBOS POUR LA SOCIÉTÉ LARSEN & TOUBRO ET LE PROJET MAURICE METRO EXPRESS" [CAF, SUPPLIER OF 18 URBOS TRAMWAYS FOR THE LARSEN & TOUBRO COMPANY AND THE MAURICE METRO EXPRESS PROJECT]. CAF France (in French). December 26, 2017.
  5. ^ "Mauritius starts construction of $557 million light rail system". Reuters. September 28, 2017.
  6. ^ "Mauritius launches first phase of $525 million light rail system". Reuters. 3 October 2019. Retrieved 3 October 2019.
  7. ^ MEL Management (2019-12-17). "Press Communique" (PDF). Mauritius Metro. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2019-12-19. Retrieved 19 December 2019.
  8. ^ Onsiong, David (April 20, 2018). "World Heritage Day observed amidst fears for local heritage". lexpress.mu.
  9. ^ "Press Conference Start of Commercial Services of Metro Express" (PDF). Mauritius Metro. 3 January 2020. Retrieved 6 January 2020.[dead link]
  10. ^ "CAF TO SUPPLY 18 URBOS TRAMS TO LARSEN & TOUBRO IN THE MAURITIUS METRO EXPRESS PROJECT". CAF (Press release). December 26, 2017.
  11. ^ Fakun, Nafissah; Jaddoo, Jameela (September 8, 2017). "Protests derail Metro Express".