The so-called fast tram will replace the existing tram lines between Momyshuly Street, Makateyev Street, and Zhetysu Street. The EBRD says the line will be the first major urban transport project in Kazakhstan to be implemented as a PPP. The EBRD will seek grants to cover the costs for legal and technical advisers to assist the city in drafting PPP documents.

The Tenge 44.6bn ($US 301m) budget includes rolling stock, and local media reported in April that the city plans to procure a fleet of Superior Plus LRVs from Inkeon, Czech Republic.

The project has been developed as a less costly alternative to building a metro line on this corridor. Almaty opened its first metro line last December, but construction took more than 23 years to complete.

Construction is already underway in the capital Astana on Kazakhstan's first modern light rail project, a 16km, eight-station line linking the airport with Abu Dhabi Square which will open in 2014.