The 17.1km two-line network will largely replace the TVR guided trolleybus system, which has been beset by technical problems since it opened in 2002.
Line 1 will be 15.4km long with 25 stations and will link Caen Campus 2 and Herouville in the north with the city centre and the mainline station, before continuing south with separate branches serving Fleury-sur-Orne, where the depot will be located, and Jean Vilar.
The 1.7km Peninsula Line will serve six stations in the city centre, sharing tracks with Line 1 between Boulevard des Alliers in Saint-Pierre and Quai Amiral Hamelin, where it will diverge onto a short branch terminating at Presqu'ile.
Services will run at 10-minute intervals at peak times using a fleet of 24 32m-long low-floor LRVs. Each vehicle will accommodate up to 210 passengers, compared with 128 passengers on the TVR trolleybuses. The network will be designed to carry up to 64,000 passengers per day.
Construction will begin at the end of 2017 and operation of the TVR will cease in early 2018, when a temporary bus service will be introduced. Commissioning of the tram network is scheduled for September 2019.
The city expects to complete the project within its budget of €229.8m by making use of as much of the existing TVR infrastructure and alignment as possible.