Senegal – Senegal will welcome a new commuter railway line on Monday, December 27 after waiting for the project’s completion for the past five years. Once the TER regional express begins service, this transportation system aims to reduce travel times while also decongesting the city.
According to Frédéric Bardenet, the general manager of SETER, the TER operating firm, only a small set of persons would be able to use the train once it is operational. “…we will carry all schoolchildren, as well as sports and cultural organizations, on the line. We are still in the implementation phase of the program.” The trains will cover the 36-kilometer distance between Dakar and the new city of Diamniadio in around 20 minutes, traveling at speeds of up to 160 kilometers per hour.
The trains will transport 115,000 people per day, saving passengers hours wasted stuck in traffic. “I know there has been criticism in Dakar about the TER being behind time, but that is not the case; we are practically breaking world records in terms of construction, in terms of completion of this project,” Frédéric Bardenet remarked. According to critics, the project’s true cost is more than $1.7 billion.
SETER will deploy Alstom’s 15 four-car dual-mode trains, which are powered by both diesel and electricity. Residents who are suing the government for compensation after the government took their land for the project have already threatened to disrupt the railway’s launch on Monday. Residents claim that the developments have had a negative impact on their lives. “We have become impoverished as a result of the TER. It’s a project that has resulted in the creation of the living dead “Cisse’s advocacy group, the Collective of People Affected by the TER, has Amina Bayo as a member.
The city’s five million residents account for roughly a third of Senegal’s population and nearly all of the country’s economic activity. According to official data, traffic congestion costs the city $172 million every year. The TER stations will be connected to express buses that will run on designated lanes on a toll motorway that has been in operation for a decade.