Ukraine has just signed a deal with France’s Alstom and its Russian joint venture, TramRus, for a number of newer, faster and better-equipped trams around the country. Currently, this won’t amount to a hill of beans for many living in Kyiv, where transport on the metro, the marshrutkas and gypsy cabs keep the city moving at a snail’s pace. For those living outside of the centre and outside of the capital, though, this new contract is a big deal.
According to statistics, 80% – meaning approximately 2,500 – of the trams currently in operation in Ukraine are obsolete, antiquated, old. Working with Ukraine’s City Transport Group, under license from TramRus, Alstom’s flagship model Citadis will be making its appearance shortly. Designed for the CIS market, this tramway model is winterised to withstand temperatures as low as −40°C (which means you’ll have no excuses this winter not to make it to work), is meant to have a lifetime of 30 years (a full 12 years longer than its Ukrainian counterpart), and is designed for an average speed of 25 kilometres per hour (though could go up to 75 km/h as necessary) compared to just 11 km/h for the existing fleet.
All in all, it’s just a better way to travel, transporting up to 255 passengers, providing easy access for those with reduced mobility, and all with the convenience of WiFi. Yes folks, you may just find yourself leaving the car keys at home to catch the tram to work very soon – they’re that cool.
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