Just 12 months to go! This time next year chic red trams will zip along the Promenade des Anglais, as Line 2 of the Nice’s tramway opens for business.
It’s about time. The new line will run every three minutes between Nice Port and Nice Airport. Equally importantly, it will take 20,000 cars off the road – plus the assorted trucks and diggers that have been building the network since 2013.
Visitors will be welcomed with easy city access, convenient stops at the MAMAC art museum and the photography museum. Plus newly pedestrianised streets around Nice Port.
Investors will welcome easy access from Nice Airport, not to mention rising property prices along the commuter-friendly line.
Truth be told there’s a bit of PR fluff involved. The line that opens in summer 2018 will only run from the local government HQ at Cadam to midway along the seafront. The fuller service from Jean Médécin to the Airport will be your Christmas present for 2018. But by running this small inaugural section, trams can be tested with passenger concerns addressed at the same time. It’s a heck of a morale boost too.
The countdown to completion has already begun. Hitherto the subterranean section of the aboveground/underground tramway has been the cause of most traffic, noise and dust issues. Now the tunnel section from Nice Port to the Negresco Hotel that inched forward at 10m per day is complete.
Even the demonstration tram that toured the piazzas of Nice has been shipped off. It was last seen in the New York suburb of Brooklyn, as the Big Apple seeks to copy the Cote d’Azur’s latest transport solution.
What will the new tramway mean for visitors and hosts in 2018?
Peace and quiet for one thing. Construction noise will be replaced by sleek trams. These will transport 140,000 people per day silently through the streets. Construction zones are also out in favour of 30,000m2 of redeveloped public spaces and 2,400 freshly planted trees.
Most importantly, the tram will speed residents and tourists alike from Nice Port to Nice Airport in 26 minutes flat. Or quicker if you live on one of the 18 stations in between. Which is great news for Nice’s sales and rentals business. Surely we can all raise a glass to that.