Mozambique: Metrobus Planning New Rail Line

Maputo — The private transport company Metrobus, which operates an integrated transport system in the Greater Maputo Metropolitan Area, combining rail cars and a fleet of buses, on Tuesday presented to the Maputo provincial government a project for a new railway from the eastern to the western outskirts of Maputo.

The new line would be 27 kilometres long, running from Marracuene to Matola-Gare. The cost of building the railway is put at 80 million US dollars. Construction should have begun this year, but the Covid-19 pandemic has forced a postponement into 2021.

Maputo Provincial governor Julio Parruque visited the Metrobus headquarters and part of the proposed route. The chairperson of the Metrobus board, Amade Camal, told him the purpose of the new line was to reduce traffic on the Maputo roads, encouraging passengers to switch from buses and minibuses to trains.

The project envisages four trains running permanently in a loop between Marracuene and Matola-Gare. Camal was confident that the availability of rail transport throughout the day would persuade many motorists to leave their cars at home, and travel to and from work by train.

According to Metrobus engineer Cleiton Macatange, Metrobus is currently only operating at 30 per cent of its capacity. The company claims that, with the new railway, it will be able to transport 150,000 passengers a day.

Parruque stressed that development is closely linked to transport. "The circulation of people promotes development", he said. "Transport is not a luxury, but a necessity. People need to move to their workplaces and to their farms so that they can produce".

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