The tramway line has redesigned the city of Casablanca

Customer feedback
The tramway line has redesigned the city of Casablanca

The Casablanca tramway, which is operated by RATP Dev*, has just exceeded the symbolic figure of 100 million passengers in June. This is the perception of Youssef DRAISS, managing director of CASA Transports, the city’s transport authority, about an unusual mode of transport that has become very popular in the quickly changing economic capital of Morocco.

What is your assessment of the first three years of operation with Casa Tram?

The inhabitants of Casablanca knew nothing about the tramway in 2012. Today, 120,000 of them use it daily and patronage is rising (+15% in 2015). This brand new form of transport quickly found its place with the population. This is a fine achievement.

How do you explain this success? 

It meets a genuine mobility need in a city where road traffic is saturated. Passenger loyalty can also be explained by the quality of service provided by Casa Tram. The tram is on time, safe, clean and issues reliable information. It adapts to the city’s pace, runs later in summer and during Ramadan. A survey in 2015 highlighted a customer satisfaction rate of over 95%. This is well above the scores achieved by the bus.

What impact does it have on the city?

Tramway construction helped offer a new identity to Casablanca by prompting a renovation in public roads, lighting, new squares and pedestrian zones. This applies both to the city centre and the periphery. This is a major factor in urban dynamics and social cohesion for the entire region.

What were your major challenges?

Safety. Trams are a brand new form of transport running right in the city centre. It has its own rules, has right of way all along the line and is crossed by over 60 intersections! We worked a lot with the city, the policy (the tramway has its own dedicated brigade) and Casa Tram has worked on raising awareness among inhabitants, signalling challenges and traffic rules. Safety indicators have constantly improved including an uninterrupted decline in the number of incidents.  

Casa Tram internalised maintenance activity in 2014. Are you satisfied with this?

Maintenance is a key stake. Train availability dictates regularity and punctuality in the service. It was 100% in 2015. It is also a capital stake; there was significant investment in the fleet and we have to maintain it over time (at least 30 years).
 
What are tomorrow’s challenges in terms of regional development and mobility?

The number of cars is growing exponentially. There were approx. 300,000 in 2001 and now there are 1.2 million, a 400% increase without a major increase in population. Behind this surge is the improving in living standards, but the public transport network has remained far below the needs of the region’s four million inhabitants.
Public transport now accounts for 13% of mobility. We want to practically double this figure at 21% by 2021.
 
What is your roadmap?

The Casablanca region intends to invest over 2.7 billion euros* by 2022 in infrastructure and public transport, of which over half in tramways. We will triple the network’s size. It currently has a 31-km line, but the aim is to raise coverage to 110 km in the next six years with a second line running by 2018.
We must also renew our fleet of ageing buses and double its size from 800 to 1500 vehicles in use by 2023. Network interoperability will also be a major factor in the new coverage which is intended to be more effective and durable.

*via its subsidiary Casa Tram
* 30 billion dirhams

 

28/06/2016
RATP Dev has been operating the Casablanca tramway since 12 December 2012 through its subsidiary Casa Tram. The company implemented a dynamic skills transfer; over 99% of its 565 employees are now Moroccan.