IBNA Special Report
Tirana, June 10, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency
Municipality of Tirana has presented today the tram project linking the area of Kombinat to Kinostudio. This is the longest road segment and the most used one by the residents of the Albanian capital. It includes the two suburban extremes of Tirana and covers all suburban and central areas of the metropolis.
This project was promised by mayor of Tirana Lulzim Basha three years ago. Basha said that if the government has the will, the project may soon start.
“When three years ago I articulated for the first time my engagement for this form of urban transport in Tirana, many didn’t hesitate to consider it as an election promise. Like three years ago, even today I’m optimistic that this project will come to life, based on the hope and the faith of the citizens of Tirana that it would become reality, because it was a desired option, on which the city of Tirana believed in and which it needed, but it was a delayed project for the capital”.
Some of the largest companies of the world, from France, Germany, Canada, Czech Republic, Turkey and China have expressed their interest on this project.
Municipality of Tirana said that it’s ready to start and launch this project.
Experts say that this project will have a direct impact on the improvement of the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of Albanians and visitors from all around the world.
Transport by tram offers a faster means for citizens, it offers comfort and affordable prices. This service also improves the environment, where road circulation remains one of the main sources of air pollution.
Mayor of Tirana Basha offers for IBNA more details on the project: “Tram will cut travel time for this line by half. Journey from Kombinat to Kinostudio will last only 24 minutes, because tram lines are dedicated and traffic congestion doesn’t affect them. Transport by tram will reduce the general cost of transport in the city and will offer a faster and higher quality service”. Basha says that the tram “will orientate more and more people toward using public transport and leave their cars at home”.
The line is nearly 9 km long. In the first phase, it’s estimated to carry 90 thousand passengers a day and in the medium term, it’s predicted to carry 186 thousand passengers a day.
Based on the study, the cost of a ticket will amount to 50 ALL per person (0.33 Euro), while the average price including monthly or annual tickets will be 41 ALL per person (0.30 Euro).
The overall cost of the project is estimated to be around 155 million Euros. The project may be given on a concessionary agreement or it may be realized through a partnership between the public and private sector, whereby the Municipality of Tirana consists on the public partner.
Mayor and former mayor, tram was the focus
During the 2011 election campaign, Edi Rama ran for a fourth term in office. Like Basha, he also promised the tram project. Now, Basha is presenting the project, while Rama is a prime minister.
“Both candidates had the tram project. Mayor of Tirana [Basha] completed the project, former mayor of Tirana [Rama] has the opportunity to show his commitment by engaging that mechanism which would commit every European government, the sovereign guarantee for the Municipality of Tirana, in order to realize the tram project, which would not benefit the mayor of Tirana, but the residents of Tirana”, said Basha. /ibna/