Geneva is one of the most dynamic agglomerations in Western Europe. Its population has grown over 30% in 30 years and now represents 1 million people (half in France and half in Switzerland). The city has about 200,000 people, with a density of 12 589 per km2, which is comparable to Barcelona or Brooklyn. As the Agglomération goes beyond state and national boundaries, the question of mobility has become critical to Geneva's growth strategy. Individual vehicular traffic is having an increasing impact on Geneva's limited infrastructure and quality of life. As the City and Agglomeration grows, there is an impetus on how people move around more efficiently and sustainably.
The first phase will extend the line to a new Park and Ride by the French border, offering a service to residents in France and the neighbouring Canton of Vaud to access the city and their place of work using public transport. The public authorities are studying a further extension of the tram into France as part of a second phase.
One of the stops on the tram line will connect to the new Leman Express, a series of regional train lines (230km of tracks and 45 stations) that connect Geneva, the Canton of Vaud and France. Scheduled for full service in December 2019, the Leman Express has been Geneva's largest infrastructure project in recent times overseeing new railway infrastructure in the city and the creation of four new train stations.
There are multiple global dimensions interconnected to the project.
The neighbourhoods that are directly affected by the tram line extension are home the core hub of the International Geneva sector, a major economic sector and an integral element of Geneva and Switzerland's identity and USP. Consequently, the people who live and work in the area are a mixture of local Genevans and internationals from all over the world.
Geneva Airport is a stone's throw away from the new tram line extension. The route de Ferney is currently a main axe to the airport and for hundreds of thousands of visitors to Geneva, it forms part of their gateway to the City. In addition, people from all over the world use it to access meetings and conferences hosted by International Geneva actors.
The tram project is also part of a wider global effort to rethink our environmental, economic and social relationship with the planet and with each other. The UNs Sustainable Development Goals represent this shift and via futura address four of these goals:
3 Good Health and Wellbeing, 9 Industry Innovation and Infrastructure, 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities, and 13 Climate Action.