Tunisia - Transportation



As of 2002, 23,100 km (14,354 mi) of highway, 18,226 km (11,326 mi) of it paved, connected the major cities and provided access to most regions of the country. In 2000, there were 195,800 passenger cars and 153,200 commercial vehicles. The Tunisian National Railway Co. (Société National des Chemins de Fer Tunisiens) operates over 2,168 km (1,347 mi) of standard- and narrow-gauge track, located mostly in the northern region and central plateau. A metro rail system for Tunis opened in 1985.

Tunisia has excellent shipping facilities at Tunis, the principal port, and at Sfax, Sousse, Bizerte, and Gabes; Sekhira is the port for oil exports. The free port terminal at Zarzis is scheduled for further development at an estimated cost of $20.8 million, in order to expand harbor and storage facilities. Tunisia's modest merchant fleet, established in 1958, operates a freighter service principally to French ports; as of 2002 there were 16 ships, totaling 150,710 GRT. The Tunisian Navigation Co. is the principal shipping firm.

Airports in 2001 numbered 30, 14 of which had paved runways. Tunis-Carthage Airport, about 14 km (9 mi) from the capital, provides direct connections to most of the major cities of Europe and the Middle East. There are five other international airports, at Monastir (Habib Bourguiba), Jerba (Zarzis), Tozeur (Nefta), Tabarka, and Sfax (Thyna). Tunis Air, the national airline, is owned by the Tunisian government (51%), Air France, and Tunisian citizens. In 2001, 1,926,100 passengers were carried on scheduled domestic and international flights.

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