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Basel – Weil: An extremely generous tram offer

filed on: 20.02.2008 (20th Feb 2008)

Combino Tram Basel CentralbahnplatzAchieving progress on Basel's cross-border tram project for an extension to Weil in Germany is proving a bumpy ride. Basel's neighbour wants the tram in principle but doesn't like the idea of paying for it. At least this is the impression one can get from following this epsiode in the media. Back in 2005, Basel's tram extension strategy included three cross-border lines. In September 2006, the federal government agreed to finance (the Swiss sections of) these to 50%, on the condition that work started by the end of 2008. The two French proposals, however, were met with lukewarm enthusiasm, leaving only the Weil project with any realistic chance of being under construction by this date.

Weil too, however, was slow to warm to the project, especially as the need to replace a bridge drove up the costs of the German section from 33 to 45 million. However, Basel is offering to pay 4.5 million directly towards the German line. Weil (with the support of the provincial and national authorities) must finance 21.6 million Franks compared to 42 million by Basel and 1.6 million being contributed by BVB. The federal contribution is 43.6 million (thanks to some of the moneys released by not building the French lines being redirected). Despite this exceptionally generous offer, Weil is still concerned about the costs. The latest argument being the question of cost overuns. Basel is now offering to earmark 3.2 million for this. This, it is understood, is the greatest possible compromise, and failure to reach an agreement on this basis would probably end the dream.

source: Strassenbahnen Yahoogroup

Update: (21st February) Baden Württemberg (the Land in which Weil lies) will contribute 9.65 million Euros to the project. This is the highest possible contribution they can make (75%). This is in recognition of the high contribution made by the Swiss side. The Landkreis Lörrach is contributing 1.6 million Franks. Weil must now finance the remaining 3.1 million Euros. A decision is due next week. The total project is costing 104 million Franks.

This news item is from the 2008 newslog.

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