Commuters in Tunis


A ray of hope for commuters in Tunis

Tunisia's capital city has grown rapidly over recent years. The result? Long traffic jams and an overloaded public transport network. A major project should help to remedy the situation. Five suburban railway lines are being built and will be able to transport 350,000 people around Tunis on a daily basis. The first two lines are scheduled to go into operation as early as late 2018.

Public transportation in Tunis
Free rein

A dedicated line means separation from road traffic: the new suburban railway in Tunis.

An economic upswing and population growth in recent years have pushed Tunisia's infrastructure to its limits. Home to two million people, Tunis' transport network has been particularly hard hit by the growth. Commuters who travel by car can expect long traffic jams and the public transport network is not sufficiently developed. A suburban railway system in the Tunisian capital that improves connections between disadvantaged suburbs and the city centre will ease the situation.

Unlike buses and trams, the suburban railway has its own dedicated line, keeping it separate from traffic on the road. Another advantage is that suburban trains are environmentally-friendly. The project will be realised by a specially created public company, Société du Réseau Ferroviaire Rapide de Tunis (RFR).


The Agence Française de Développement (AFD) is the French development bank and an important partner of KfW in Financial Cooperation. By 2019 more than 100 joint projects had already been implemented. Both banks belong to the IDFC network of development banks.

Read more

KfW Development Bank is involved in financing the construction of the suburban railway track on behalf of the German Federal Government. Further donors include the European Investment Bank, the French development bank Agence Française de Développement (AFD), and the European Union. Provided by KfW, the German share of the funding for the first two lines amounts to EUR 47 million. These two lines are already under construction and due for completion by late 2018.

Overall, there are plans for five suburban railways with a total length of 85 kilometres. They will be capable of transporting 350,000 persons per day and are designed to curb growth in car traffic. According to forecasts, this could save around 50,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

Cover of FC Magazine

This article appeared in FC – The Financial Cooperation magazine in 2016.

See the issue

KfW is also helping RFR to manage intervention related to construction in a way that is as environmentally-friendly and socially affordable as possible. "We believe in the importance of holding serious discussions with the people affected," explains Jens von Roda-Pulkowski, the manager leading this project at KfW. Citizen participation, compensation and complaint management should ensure a high level acceptance for this large project.

Published on KfW Stories: Thursday, 20 July 2017


All United Nations member states adopted the 2030 Agenda in 2015. At its heart is a list of 17 goals for sustainable development, known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Our world should become a place where people are able to live in peace with each other in ways that are ecologically compatible, socially just, and economically effective.