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No Light Rail Transport for Astana

 Light Rail Transport (LRT). Photo courtesy of vagons.tramvaj.ru Light Rail Transport (LRT). Photo courtesy of vagons.tramvaj.ru
Kazakhstan President Nazarbayev believes that Light Rail Transport project proposed by French companies is overly expensive for Astana, so the city will get a bus rapid transit network instead, Tengrinews reports.
“They (the French companies) offered us an expensive project wroth more than 300 billion tenge ($19 million). It is unacceptable for us,” Nursultan Nazarbayev is quoted by the presidential press-service as saying at the yesterday's meeting on the future development of Astana. “That is why the Akimat (municipal authorities) of Astana are suggesting to consider an alternative option: to create a network of designated lanes for bus rapid transit through the city. The first stage of this project is less expensive, so the decision was made to start implementing it,” said the President addressing the problem of overloaded streets of Astana. Akim (Mayor) of Astana Imangali Tasmagambetov reported on the progress in development of the intellectual traffic infrastructure for the city. The system will be in place in 2016 and will automatize the regulation of the city's traffic flows. Initially it was planned to launch both the LRT with 50 trains and the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) network with bus running along dedicated lanes. French Alstom was among the companies bidding to construct the LRT in Astana. The company proposed making the lead tram look like a head of a snow leopard.
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