Bergen to open its new light rail system – Bybanen

30 June 2010  •  Author(s): Thomas J. Potter, Chief Engineer, Bybanen AS

Forty-five years after trams disappeared from the streets of Bergen, 20 years after serious planning began, 10 years after financing was secured through the continuation of the city’s toll ring, five years after design started and two and a half years after the start of construction, Bybanen, the new light rail system in Bergen will be opened by Her Majesty Queen Sonja of Norway on 22 June 2010. A 20km-long line between the city centre and the Bergen airport at Flesland was approved by the Bergen City Council in March 2000 and a project office, ‘Bybanekontoret’, was established in August 2001 to coordinate the planning and design activities for the system. Due to budgetary constraints, the northern half of the line, from the city centre to Nesttun with a length of 10km, was built with construction starting in January 2008. This article will describe the background for the planned system, details about the political process, the financing scheme, the initial section which will open on 22 June 2010, as well as approved future extensions and planning activities.

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