A Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) government will be committed to expanding the Sinamalé bridge by adding two additional lanes of traffic and a light rail extension, according to the party’s ‘Happy Malé’ manifesto introduced by incumbent president, and second-term hopeful, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. The manifesto, which was released on 1 September, has a heavy focus on reducing congestion.

Other key features highlighted for the greater Malé area include; a road development project, introduction of a master plan for vehicle phaseouts, introduction of a modern public transport system, introduction of specialised bus services, introduction of a public transport rebate programme to reduce older vehicle, specialised parking facilities for four-wheeled vehicles with neighbourhood parking for motor vehicles, and the incorporation of added automated traffic enforcement technology.

The manifesto aims to curb congestion by making the proposed light rail service available across the greater Malé area, covering Velana International Airport, Hulhumalé, Malé, Vilimalé, Gulhifalhu, Thilafushi, and Giravaru. This will be achieved via the Sinamalé and the Malé-Vilimalé-Gulhifalhu-Thilafushi bridges. The manifesto will also aim to limit the number of vehicles on the streets while prioritising pedestrian space.

Solih had earlier committed to connecting Giraavaru to the Malé-Vilimalé-Gulhifalhu-Thilafushi bridge as part of a separate project.