Mauritius’ light rail transit (LRT) system, the Metro Express

The Mauritius Metro Express is the first investment in train travel in the country since the closure of the old train lines in the 1960s. Light Rail (LRT) website says that the Metro Express aims to reduce the use of private motor vehicles as well as provide the Mauritian public with an alternative environmentally friendly public transport system. The service offers state-of-the-art technology and provides commuters with an important time-saving alternative. They add that all Metro Express stations are equipped with facilities that encourage the use of bicycles, thus promoting more sustainable initiatives. The main objective of the LRT is the reduction of reduced road traffic, which the authorities say that without it, the direct and incidental losses due to road congestion would have continued to cost the Mauritian economy around MUR 10 billion (229 million dollars) each year.

Several sections of the SLR are already in operation, and in his 2022-23 Budget Speech, Finance Minister Renganaden Padayachy announced that the Metro Express will be fully operational on the Port-Louis–Curepipe corridor, as well as between Rose Hill and Reduit. before the end of this year. The Metro Express Ltd will also set up photovoltaic farms at its Richelieu depot, in Barkly, as well as at the Ebene recreational park to meet its electricity needs. Trains powered by clean electricity! The government is also working to increase the penetration of locally produced renewable energy. They aim to produce 60% of energy from renewable sources by 2030.

The country is about 60 km long and 45 km wide and has an area of ​​about 2000 km2. Mauritius has a population of approximately 1.37 million. A light rail system is perfect for such a small island nation. Mauritius is also trying to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles. From July 1, 2022, all hybrid and electric vehicles are now zero-rated in Mauritius.

According to International Railway Journal, Phase 1 of the Metro Express, which runs 12.4 km from Victoria to Port Louis to Rose Hill, was put into commercial service in January 2020. The 2.6 km Phase 2A from Rose Hill to Quatre Bornes opened in June 2021, and the 3.6 km 2B phase in Curepipe opened on May 8 this year. The 6.5 km phase 2C, which extends the line from Phoenix to Curepipe, was inaugurated by the Prime Minister of Mauritius, Mr. Pravind Jugnauth, last month. In September 2020, the Metro Express had already celebrated the milestone of transporting 2 million passengers. Late last year, the Metro Express celebrated the milestone of carrying 5 million passengers. 19 of the 22 stations planned for the 26 km light rail project are now operational. It is great to see more electrified urban rail projects in the Southern African Development Community (SADC). These light rail projects have been proposed in several countries in the region. We hope to see more become a reality in the near future.

Images of Metro Express Limited

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Jose P. Rogers