The transport development strategy for the 2010-2014 period, which is part of the Presidential Programme: “Together We Meet Challenges,” aims to further promote public transport, upgrade domestic lines and strengthen transport by bus.
This approach takes into consideration the requirements of sustainable development in the transport sector by ensuring an easy flow of traffic in major cities, reducing pollution and adopting energy saving programmes. Reinforcement of railway transport is one of the major axes of the sector’s development strategy. The achievement of the Rapid Rail Network will start in the second half of 2010.
This project whose cost is estimated at one billion dinars, includes two lines. The First links Tunis to Manouba and the second links Tunis to Ezzouhour.
Each train in this network has a capacity of 2000 passengers, i.e. nearly 1200 cars. This railway project (the first part) will benefit nearly 600, 000 inhabitants.
Emphasis will be placed in the next period on strengthening port and airport infrastructure to make Tunisia a regional services centre.
The creation of the deep water port of Enfidha and the fitting out of three logistic areas in Rades, Djebel El Ouest and Enfidha corroborate this approach.
Efforts will also be focused on reducing the cost of logistic services, improving quality of services, shortening goods delivery time and easing customs procedures.
It should be noted that the cost of logistic services in Tunisia represents 20% of the GDP, i.e. 9 billion dinars, compared with 15% in Turkey and 10% in Europe. The objective sought-after is to reduce this rate to 15%. The next period will also be marked by the implementation of a plan to develop logistic zones in major urban agglomerations (Tunis, Sousse, Sfax, Jendouba, Gafsa and Zarzis) and in the vicinity of Rades and Enfidha.
Special attention will also be granted to the development of multimodal transport by connecting the railway network to all ports and easing foreign trade procedures, through the generalisation of the one-stop shop in ports. The transport development strategy for the 2010-2014 period also provides for increasing the share of railways in transport of goods from 3% now to 6% in 2014.
Regarding sea transport, efforts will focus on the upgrading of ports and promotion of sea crafts to keep them abreast with international quality and security standards in force.
Tunisia yearns in the next period to increase the share of the national maritime fleet in the transport of goods to 18% in 2014 compared with 9% now, by strengthening the fleet and signing contract-programmes between carriers and freight forwarders, for a period of 5 years.
In another connection, emphasis will be placed on liberalising air transport (open sky) and upgrading air companies to improve their competitiveness.