ALGIERS, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- Algeria will invest more than 447 billion DZD (6 billion U.S. dollars) to equip 14 big cities with trams, CEO of Algiers Subway Company (EMA) said Tuesday.
"A financial envelop of more than 447 billion DZD is earmarked by the government in a bid to modernize public transport through the introduction of trams in several big cities countrywide," the official, Aomar Hadbi, was quoted as saying by the official APS news agency.
The provinces that are to benefit from trams are Sidi Bel Abbes, Mostaganem, Tlemcen and Bechar (in the west of Algeria), Setif, Annaba, Batna, Beja a, Biskra, Skikda, Tebessa and Ourgla (in the east), as well as Blida and Djelfa (in the center).
Currently, Algiers is the only city in the country that is equipped with a tram, as two stretches of the first line are put into service, linking Bordj El Kifan neighborhood in the eastern outskirts to Les Fusiles in downtown Algiers.
Meanwhile, tram projects have already been launched in both Constantine province (413 km south of Algiers) and Oran province ( 435 km west of the capital).
In a bid to relieve traffic congestion in the capital and major metropolis, the government has opted for diversified rail transport.
On Oct. 31, 2011, the North African nation inaugurated its first subway line of 9.5 km linking Hai El Badr neighbourhood in the southeastern outskirts of Algiers to "Grand Post" in downtown Algiers.