Tram commuters are now treated to a luxurious ride in the Egyptian city of Alexandria after the historic public service underwent renovation.
Officials say the new carriages now offer new services to compensate for increasing transport prices and battle traffic jams.
Commuters can watch LCD screens, read newspapers or eat at the trams’ buffets in a feat to encourage more use.
A majority of the tram cars are almost 60 years old, manager of the city’s tramway service, Hany Mohamed said.
As the tram carriages became really old, we thought we should develop the carriages so that the service better suits the commuters in Alexandria.
“As the tram carriages became really old, we thought we should develop the carriages so that the service better suits the commuters in Alexandria. The tram cars are fifty to sixty years old. This means that [the tram’s] lifespan is over,” he added.
According to the city’s public transportation authority, Alexandria’s tramway system, operating since 1860, is the oldest in Africa.
It has become one of the most iconic landmarks of the city.
Head of the city’s public transportation authority Khaled Elewa said they create an atmosphere of joy and happiness to Alexandrian commuters.
“These trams create an atmosphere of joy and happiness to Alexandrian commuters, whether they reserve it for happy events or for the commuters who read the newspapers and books, eat in the buffet or watch the screen,” he said.
Almost 80,000 commuters use 119 tram units daily, with a rail system stretched over 56 kilometres.
The government plans to extend the renovation process to introduce faster units to decrease the commute time from 90 to 30 minutes.
A tram ticket costs between 0.5 to one Egyptian pound ($0.057).