By Kamila Aliyeva
Baku, being a populous city with more than 2 million inhabitants and constantly growing number of tourists, has to consider how to expand its urban transport links in order to bring convenience to the people’s life while protecting the environment.
Therefore, another way of transportation may be soon added to the existing ones in the capital of Azerbaijan. The revival of tram lines in Baku has long been rumored and discussed.
In this regard, Samir Nuriyev, chairman of the State Committee for Urban Planning and Architecture, clarified this issue.
According to the chairman, discussions will be held with relevant government agencies on tram maintenance in the capital within the framework of Baku General Plan.
“It's early to speak exactly about this,” he noted.
Samir Nuriyev said that the decision will be made after studying the current situation in Baku and the world experience.
The Baku tramway network had been operating for 80 years. It appeared to replace a horsecar line existing since 1889. On February 8, 1924, an electric tram line was launched in Baku, which lasted until 2004. The very first line of the Baku tram - from the station to Azneft Square - stretched for almost seven kilometers. After only 15 years the tram system of Baku reached its maximum length - 117 km. The city authorities eliminated this type of public transportation in 2004, and Baku became the largest city in the CIS without the tram.
In February 2012, the government of Azerbaijan announced that it is planning to restore the tram line in Baku. A new line had to be laid along the seaside promenade of Baku Boulevard in central Baku as part of the Baku White City development project.
Unlike the former network, the new line had to be considerably shorter in length and it hadn't had to serve within the main road networks of Baku as was the case with the former tramway network.
Trams have been adopted in almost all cities in Europe with population above 200,000 people. The main reasons are that they are efficient and ecofriendly.
Kamila Aliyeva is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Kami_Aliyeva
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