Tunisia's light metro is a terrestrial rail transport system in the city of Tunis (the capital of Tunisia). It consists of a branch of the TGM train connecting the center of the capital with the suburbs of La Guillette, La Marsa and Carthage, and 6 branches of an ordinary tram. Trams are called "light metro", as the roads are fenced off by a fence from highways.
Officially, the TGM branch and trams are separate transport systems, even tickets for them are sold different. However, ordinary Tunisians and tourists do not share them, and both these systems are called "light metro".
The TGM branch is very useful for tourists, it is possible to quickly and inexpensively get to Sidi Bou Said or Carthage . In the trams, we do not even advise you to go in categorically! Why? Read this article, we will tell you about TGM and trams in detail.
It is important not to be confused!
In Tunisia, two transport systems are called the word "metro". The first is the light metro of the city of Tunisia, which we are talking about in this article. The second is a branch of an electric train between the cities of Mahdia, Monastir and Sousse, which is called the " Subway Sahel ". Do not confuse these two vehicles.
This railway branch is 19 kilometers long. It starts at the Tunis Marine station, which is at the end of Habib Bourguiba Avenue just behind the Tunisian Big Ben . From Big Ben go under the overpass, just behind the overpass on the right side of the road there will be a Tunis Marine station.
Further the branch goes to the east to the suburbs and port of La Guilette, further north to the suburb of Carthage, the city of Sidi Bou Said and the suburb of La Mars. The branch only a few kilometers "does not reach" to the resort area Gammarth .
An interesting point is that this is the very first railway branch in Tunisia. It was built in 1872, even before the establishment of the French Protectorate (read our article " The History of Tunisia "). The name of TGM was given to this railroad by the French in 1905.
Operating time and intervals
Trains run from 4:00 am to 24:00. In peak hours, the interval of movement is 6 minutes, for the rest of the time - up to 15 minutes.
Zones and ticket price
The TGM branch is divided into two zones - from Tunis Marine to La Goulette and from La Goulette to La Marsa. To get from the center of Tunis (Tunis Marine station) to Carthage or Sidi Bou Said, you need to buy a ticket for 2 zones.
The ticket for 2 zones costs 680 millimeters (0.68 dinars) for the 2nd class and 1150 millimits (1.15 dinars) for the 1st class. For the current exchange rate for Tunisia, see our article " Tunisian Dinar ".
We recommend immediately buying a ticket of the 1st class, so as not to "bother" where to get on the train. With a first class ticket, sit where you want, and there is no risk of claims from the controller. You can save a little and buy a round-trip ticket for 1300 or 2150 millimeters (1.3 or 2.15 dinars).
Tunis Marine is the first branch station. Here tourists sit down to drive to Carthage or Sidi Bou Said.
Carthage Dermech is the nearest station to Birsa Hill in Carthage, which houses the Carthage Museum, the main excavations and the Cathedral of St. Louis. From the station to the hill Birsa walk 500 meters.
Carthage Hannibal - the next after Carthage Dermech. The nearest station to Termonia Antonia is the second most important and popular place of excavation in Carthage. From the station to Terme Anthony 800 meters walk. The Carthage Hannibal station is also the closest to the Roman Villas, Odeon, Amphitheater.
Sidi-Bou-Said - the closest to the city of Sidi Bou Said. From the station to the entrance to Sidi Bou Said go walking about 500 meters.
L`Aeroport - station-bullying. Seeing this name, some tourists naively believe that they will reach the Tunis-Carthage International airport, and when they leave the train, they do not find any airport. From the station to the airport 14 kilometers away!
Trolley branches (light metro)
In 1981, after the complete dismantling of the old tramway in the city of Tunisia, began to build a new one. In 1985, branch 1 entered the construction. In 1989, traffic began on branch 2, in 1990 on branches 3 and 4. Line 5 entered service in 1992. In 2005, they began to build and partly started a branch 6.
Despite all the efforts of the authorities of the capital to solve the transport problem, trams (light metro) do not satisfy the needs of the growing city. The blame for this giant intervals of motion - 6 minutes in peak hours and up to 15 minutes the rest of the time.
The cars are crammed, people in them like "herrings in a tin can"! It is for this reason that we strongly do not recommend tourists to use in Tunisia trams (light metro). Believe me, it's terrible.
Of all the significant attractions of Tunisia, the tram can only be reached to the Bardo museum , the La Bardo station on branch 4.
Below, see a few photos, they will see and stuffed cars, and how many people are waiting for tram number 4 at the bus stop. And these photos our editor-in-chief did not at peak hours, but at lunchtime on a weekday.
The next huge problem is thief-pickpockets, which in the trams in Tunisia no one surprises. You are a tourist, and the hotel's bracelet will act on pickpockets like a red rag on a bull. They perfectly understand that you do not know either French or Arabic, you will not go to the police.
If you steal money and documents, what will you do? We call, do not use trams, do not save, take a taxi.
By the way, our chief editor was robbed, stole 10 dinars and a few coins from his pocket. Up to the basic money did not reach, it is good able to hide.
Timetable and price of the ticket
Trams (easy metro) in Tunisia operate from 3:00 am to 24:00. Traffic intervals - 6 minutes during peak hours and up to 15 minutes at the rest of the time.
The ticket price depends on the distance, the city is divided into 6 zones. When buying a ticket at the ticket office, name the destination station, the cashier himself will calculate the price. On average, tourists pay 400-500 millimeters (0.4-0.5 dinars) per trip.
Important and interesting moments
TGM and trams are separated. If you need to change from one transport to another, you have to go out and go to another station, buy another ticket. The intersection of TGM and trams is Tunis Marine station. Different stations under the same name serve TGM and trams (1 and 4 branches).
Please note that some of the trams look old, and some are brand new. Previously, only trams of model TW 6000 from Siemens (Germany) were used here, they were purchased in 1984-1997, and they look very old. If you think about it, then another 15-20 years of their exploitation, and they can already be called "antique."
In 2004, the governments of Tunisia and France signed a contract for the delivery of new Citadis trams from Alstom. Now from the entire park of 136 trams only 39 brand-new Citadis. It is the lack of trams - the main "trouble" of the light metro Tunisia. There is no money in the country, when this problem will be solved, it is not clear.
Now Tunisia's light metro has 43 kilometers of tracks and 67 stations.
Successful travel around the capital, and read our articles about Tunisia ( links below ).