- Bergen Light Rail
Infobox Public transit
name = Bergen Light Rail
imagesize = 200 px
began_operation = 2010
system_length = 9.8 km
lines = 1
stations = 15
ridership = 26000 weekday (estimate for 2015)
track_gauge = RailGauge|sg
vehicles = 12
map_state = show|
Bergen Light Rail ( _no. Bybanen i Bergen) is a
light railsystem under construction in Bergen, Norway. The first stage of the project is a convert|9.8|km|mi stretch between the city centre and Nesttun, estimated to be finished in 2010. [cite web |url=http://www3.bergen.kommune.no/bybane_/ekstern/naar.html |title=Bybanen - tidsplan |author=Bybanen |language=Norwegian |accessdate=2007-06-18] Further plans for the project involve three lines, stretching to Åsane, Storavatnetand Bergen Airport, Flesland.cite web |url=http://www3.bergen.kommune.no/bybane_/ekstern/ryggradbybane_stor.jpg|title=Public transport network - Bergen and surrounding areas |author=Bybanen |type=JPEG |accessdate=2007-06-18]
The first public transport in Bergen was the
Bergen Tramwaythat operated between 1897 and 1965. Already in the 1960s suburban tram lines were suggested, but the idea fell out of the public domain during the 1970s. In the 1960s the sale of cars in Norway was deregulated, resulting in an explosion of car use, and the number of public transport users has since fallen dramatically. To meet the increased number of cars, politicians in Bergen began a massive investment in motorways throughout the city in the 1980s and 1990s financed with toll plaza, but by the 2000s the congestion had again caught up with the building of new roads.
While several other solutions had been proposed, such as building a
bus rapid transitsystem, [cite web |url=http://www.ba.no/nyheter/politikk/article1369335.ece |title=Gigantbuss |author= Bergens Tidende|language=Norwegian |accessdate=2007-06-18] , the politicians in the end decided to build a light rail system in the city to effectively address the problem of congestion. The initial plans involved a line from the city centre via Nesttun to the airport at Flesland. It became part of a political compromise, Bergensprogrammet, that ensured a number of road investments along with the light rail, again financed with toll plazas. But in the end a lack of funds made it necessary to only build the line to Nesttun, and not all the way to the airport. The initial decision was made in Bergen City Council on 13 March 2000, in the Norwegian legislature in 2002 [cite web |url=http://www.bergensprogrammet.no/Pressemelding_Stortingsvedtak_28_februar.doc |title=Bergen får Norges mest velfungerende og nyskapende transportsystem |author=Bybanen |type=Doc |accessdate=2007-06-18] and with the financing in place by the city council in 2005. Only the Progress Party and the Pensioners Party voted against.
The first stretch of the line will be the 9.8 km stretch between the city centre and Nesttun, to be operated on a 5 minute
headwayby all-stop and express trains, with 10 minute headway in off-peak times and one hour headway at night. The Bergensprogram states that the second line between Nesttun and the airport via Lagunen Storsenterwill be built at a later stage.
There is also another more ambitious plan that involves expanding the line to other parts of the city, including from the city centre to
Sandvikenand Åsane, to Loddefjordvia Haukeland University Hospitaland Fyllingsdalen. The plans also include an expansion of the Bergen trolleybusto Oasenand Paradis.
Operation of the system will be managed by the Hordaland county administration, though no operator has been chosen. Five companies,
Fjord1, NSB, Oslo Sporvognsdrift, Tide, and Veolia Environnement, are competing for the right to run the system.cite web|url=http://www.bt.no/lokalt/bergen/article622347.ece|title=Konkurrerer om Bybanen|accessdate=2008-09-23|publisher=bt.no|year=2008|author=Målfrid Bordvik|language=Norwegian] In 2007, the administration ordered 12 Variotrams, 32 meter tramcar multiple units, from Stadler Pankow. The trams will have a capacity of 220 passengers, with 80 seats and Wi-Fiinternet access. The order includes options for an additional four units when the light rail system is expanded. [cite web |url=http://www3.bergen.kommune.no/bybane_/ekstern/110507_vognsett.html |title=Stadler Pankow skal levere Variotram til Bybanen |author=Bybanen |language=Norwegian |accessdate=2007-06-18]
* [http://www.bybanen.no/ Official site]
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