The Rupees 83.79bn ($US 1.14bn) light metro will consist of two lines with a combined length of 29.4km and will connect all the city’s major tourist attractions with railway stations and bus stops. Work is expected to take five years to complete.

The 14km Sikandara - Taj East Gate line will comprise both elevated and underground sections with 13 stations and will offer an end-to-end journey time of 28 minutes. The fully elevated, 15.4km Agra Cantt - Kalindi Vihar line will have 14 stations and offer journey times of around 32 minutes.

The project is expected to offer a radical improvement to the city’s severe road congestion and pollution. Journey times for both routes by road are approximately one hour currently.

The network is expected to serve around 2.6 million Agra residents and six million tourists every year and will be operated by a fleet of three-car Movia metro trains supplied by Bombardier under a contract awarded in July. The contract also covers the provision of CBTC signalling and control systems for the network.

The project was given the go-ahead by India’s Union Cabinet in February 2019 and will be financed jointly by the Indian government and the state of Uttar Pradesh on an equal equity basis, and partly through soft loans from international institutions. The Indian government has announced that it will fund its contribution through its $US 1.4 trillion National Infrastructure Pipeline Project.

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The January edition of IRJ, The Railway in 2021, will feature an interview with Kumar Keshav, managing director of Uttar Pradesh Metro, which is overseeing the Agra project.