Doors on the Algiers metro slid open to passengers for the first time last week. Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika inaugurated the metro at a ‘festival atmosphere’ ribbon cutting ceremony on 31 October.

Algiers Metro Line One, running from Hai el badr in the southeast to Tafourah Grande Poste in the centre, has been under construction for nearly 30 years, though work was halted for a ten-year civil war and economic crisis.

Client, Entreprise Metro d’Alger (EMA), developed the 6.5km line. Early tunnel works were carried out by local firms, with a EUR 380M (USD 524.7M) contract for civil works, fitting out and E&M works awarded in 2006 to a Siemens–CAF–Vinci JV. Total cost of the metro was estimated at USD 1.2bn.

This was the second rail system of its kind in Africa and followed the Cairo metro. A further 3.5km extension is also planned by EMA.