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Algeria's subway system opens, finally

The Algiers Metro has opened to the public, 28 years after construction began on the underground subway line.

Algeria subway 10 31 2011Enlarge
Would be passengers enter a metro carriage in La Grande Poste station in Algiers' new underground network on August 18, 2011 during an informative evening orgainised by the the transport authorities to familiarise commuters with the new line. (STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)

Algeria's first subway system has opened in the capital, Algiers, after a lengthy construction period interrupted by various crises.

BBC News reports that construction on the Algiers Metro began 28 years ago but was halted because of a global oil and gas crisis, and then later stopped again due to civil unrest in the country.

Trial runs on the first phase of Line 1 began in September, and at the end of October the underground subway system opened to the public. The Associated Press reports that 11 trains are scheduled to start operating on November 1.

The AP says that security on the subway system is tight, with 400 specially trained police on duty, along with 224 surveillance cameras and explosives detectors.

The 6-mile-long track has 10 stops, connecting Algiers' Central Post Office to the suburb of Kouba, the BBC says. It cost $1.2 billion to build, and is intended to reduce traffic congestion in Algiers.

But according to the BBC, many Algerians have complained that the ticket price is too high, with a single journey costing 50 dinars, or $0.67.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/111031/algeria-metro-algiers-subway-system-opens