After years of talk and little action, Norway’s conservative state government formally gave a green light and proposed nearly NOK 15 billion in state funding on Wednesday to build a new T-bane (metro) line from Oslo west to Fornebu, plus a new tunnel under the city to handle more metro capacity. Local governments involved will put up the other half of the NOK 30 billion needed.
The new metro line, announced in connection with the official presentation of the government’s latest version of the National Transport Plan, will run from Oslo’s transport hub at Majorstuen west to Fornebu, which once was the site of Oslo’s airport and since has been redeveloped with large office complexes, housing projects and open space. The development came ahead of public transport lines, however, and Fornebu has only been served by buses that are especially packed during the commuter rush.
Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported that the government had earmarked NOK 6 billion for the new metro line, which will have stops at Skøyen and Vækerø, and NOK 8.7 billion for the new tunnel, which will run from Majorstuen to Stortinget with new stops at Bislett, St Olavs Plass and Grünerløkka on the drawing board. Skøyen will become a major hub for train, metro, tram, bus and the Airport Express Train to Gardermoen.
Not only were government officials and the head of Oslo’s public transport system Ruter pleased but so was Oslo city government leader Raymond Johansen of the opposition Labour Party. “This is something the city has worked on for a long time, to get another metro tunnel,” he told NRK. “Now the funding has finally been set aside for it, and we’re glad for that.”
Plans call for construction of the new Fornebubanen to begin in 2021 and be completed in 2025.