Transport in Libya

Last updated
Traffic congestion in Bayda, Libya in 2010. Traffic congestion in Al Bayda, Libya ..jpg
Traffic congestion in Bayda, Libya in 2010.


Libya has had no railway in operation since 1965, all previous narrow gauge lines having been dismantled. Plans for a new network have been under development for some time (earthworks were begun between Sirte and Ras Ajdir, Tunisia border, in 2001-5), [1] and in 2008 and 2009 various contracts were placed and construction work started on a 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge railway parallel to the coast from the Tunisian border at Ras Ajdir to Tripoli, and on to Misrata, Sirte, Benghazi and Bayda. Another railway line will run inland from Misrata to Sabha at the centre of a mineral-rich area. [2]



A flyover on an urban highway in the capital Tripoli. Tripoli Libya Flyover.jpg
A flyover on an urban highway in the capital Tripoli.

Total: 83,200 km
Paved: 47,590 km
Unpaved: 35,610 km (1996 est.)

There are about 83,200 km of roads in Libya, 47,590 km of which are surfaced. 983 out of 1000 Libyans have cars, which is the highest rate in Africa. The best roads run along the coast between Tripoli and Tunis in Tunisia; also between Benghazi and Tobruk, connecting with Alexandria in Egypt. A fairly efficient bus service operates along these routes, with two main bus transport companies. One covers long-distance, international routes, while the other is chiefly engaged in shorter trips between towns. Bus fares are low and the standard of comfort, particularly on international routes is good, with air-conditioned vehicles and good service.

Taxis are available in the larger towns and are usually hired on a shared basis, although individual hire can be negotiated. The driving skills of taxi drivers are extremely variable. Taxis may have meters, but these are rarely in use. Car hire for self-drive is not recommended in Libya, although it is possible to hire a vehicle from agents in larger hotels. Vehicles are often old and poorly maintained, however, and are unequal to long-distance driving. Driving itself can be hazardous and there is a high rate of road accidents.

Regional highways

Libya has two routes in the Trans-African Highway network, but only one currently functions as such, the Cairo-Dakar Highway.

Ports and harbours

Mediterranean Sea

(west to east)

Merchant marine

Total: 17 ships (1000 GT or over) 96,062 GT/88,760 tonnes deadweight (DWT)

By type: Cargo 9, Liquified Gas 3, Passenger/Cargo 2, Petroleum Tanker 1, Roll on/Roll off 2 Foreign-owned: 4 (Kuwait 1, Turkey 2, UAE 1) (2005)


139 (2005) Most international flights arrive in and through Tripoli International Airport.

Airports - with paved runways

Total: 59
over 3,047 m: 23
2,438 to 3,047 m: 6
1,524 to 2,437 m: 23
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 2 (2005)

Airports - with unpaved runways

Total: 80
over 3,047 m: 5
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 14
914 to 1,523 m: 41
under 914 m: 18 (2008)

See also

Related Research Articles

Trinidad and Tobago, a country that relies heavily on industrialisation and tourism, has various transport systems.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sirte District</span> District of Libya

Sirte District, is one of the districts of Libya. It lies in the north of the country and borders the Gulf of Sidra. Its capital is the city of Sirte. Al-Tahadi University is located in Sirte. To the north, Sirte District has a shoreline on the Mediterranean Sea and bordered Al Wahat in the east, Jufra in the south, Jabal al Gharbi in the west and Misrata in the northwest.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Misrata</span> City in Tripolitania, Libya

Misrata is a city in the Misrata District in northwestern Libya, situated 187 km (116 mi) to the east of Tripoli and 825 km (513 mi) west of Benghazi on the Mediterranean coast near Cape Misrata. With a population of about 881,000, it is the third-largest city in Libya, after Tripoli and Benghazi. It is the capital city of the Misrata District and has been called the trade capital of Libya. The harbor is at Qasr Ahmad.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sirte</span> Place in Tripolitania, Libya

Sirte, also spelled Sirt, Surt, Sert or Syrte, is a city in Libya. It is located south of the Gulf of Sirte, between Tripoli and Benghazi. It is famously known for its battles, ethnic groups, and loyalty to Muammar Gaddafi. Also due to developments in the First Libyan Civil War, it was briefly the capital of Libya as Tripoli's successor after the Fall of Tripoli from 1 September to 20 October 2011. The settlement was established in the early 20th century by the Italians, at the site of a 19th-century fortress built by the Ottomans. It grew into a city after World War II.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Libyan Air Force</span> Air warfare branch of Libyas armed forces

The Libyan Air Force is the branch of the Libyan Armed Forces responsible for aerial warfare. In 2010, before the Libyan Civil War, the Libyan Air Force personnel strength was estimated at 18,000, with an inventory of 374 combat-capable aircraft operating from 13 military airbases in Libya. Since the 2011 civil war and the ongoing conflict, multiple factions fighting in Libya are in possession of military aircraft. As of 2019 the Libyan Air Force is nominally under the control of the internationally recognised Government of National Accord in Tripoli, though the rival Libyan National Army of Marshal Khalifa Haftar also has a significant air force. In 2021, the air force is under command of the new President of Libya, Mohamed al-Menfi that replaced Fayez al-Sarraj.

Ras Ajdir, alternatively Ras Jdir or Ras Ejder, is a small coastal town on the border between Tunisia and Libya and Libya's most northerly point.

There have been no operational railways in Libya since 1965, but various lines existed in the past. An extensive system is now being developed and is under construction.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Railway stations in Libya</span>

There were few railway stations built in Libya during the 20th century. The ones that were built were done so by the Italians from the 1920s as part of their colonial administration. Today there are no functioning railway stations active in the country, but new ones are planned, as part of a new railroad system.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Libyan Coastal Highway</span> Road in Libya

The Libyan Coastal Highway, formerly the Litoranea Balbo, is a highway that is the only major road that runs along the entire east-west length of the Libyan Mediterranean coastline. It is a section in the Cairo–Dakar Highway #1 in the Trans-African Highway system of the African Union, Arab Maghreb Union and others.

The 2007-08 Libyan Third Division was the 24th edition of the Libyan Third Division football. It took place from November 2007 to June 2008. Wefaq Ajdabiya won the title, having won the championship playoffs between the winners of the regional leagues.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Timeline of the 2011 Libyan Civil War and military intervention (16 August – 23 October)</span>

The Libyan Civil War began on 17 February 2011 as a civil protest and later evolved into a widespread uprising. By mid-August, anti-Gaddafi forces effectively supported by a NATO-led international coalition were ascendant in Tripolitania, breaking out of the restive Nafusa Mountains in the south to mount an offensive toward the coast and advancing from Misrata on loyalist-held cities and villages from the north and east.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Operation Safe Homecoming</span>

Operation Safe Homecoming was an operation launched by the Indian government on 26 February 2011 to evacuate its citizens who were fleeing from the Libyan Civil War. The air-sea operation was conducted by the Indian Navy and Air India. The last such operation was during the 2006 Lebanon War, when the Indian Navy and Air India were used in Operation Sukoon; before that, India evacuated 111,711 nationals after the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">National Liberation Army (Libya)</span> Military unit

The National Liberation Army, officially the National Liberation Armed Forces of the Free Libyan Republic, formerly known as the Free Libyan Army, was a Libyan military organisation affiliated with the National Transitional Council, which was constituted during the First Libyan Civil War by defected military members and civilian volunteers, in order to engage in battle against both remaining members of the Libyan Armed Forces and paramilitia loyal to the rule of Muammar Gaddafi. It had prepared for some time in portions of Eastern Libya controlled by the anti-Gaddafi forces for eventual full-on combat in Western Libya against pro-Gaddafi militants, training many men before beginning to go on the offensive. They have battled for control of Benghazi, Misrata, Brega, Ajdabiya, Zawiya and Ra's Lanuf as well as several towns in the Nafusa Mountains. They finally began the Battle for Tripoli in August 2011 when they attacked from the west of the city, as well as fomenting an internal uprising on 20 August.

Refugees of the Libyan Civil War are the people, predominantly Libyans, who fled or were expelled from their homes during the First Libyan Civil War (2011), from within the borders of Libya to the neighbouring states of Tunisia, Egypt and Chad, as well as to European countries across the Mediterranean. The majority of Libyan refugees are Arab-Berbers, though many of the other ethnicities temporarily living in Libya originated from sub-Saharan Africa. These groups were also among the first refugee waves to exit the country. The total number of Libyan refugees were estimated at around one million as of June 2011 and most returned after the First Civil War ended. As of January 2013, there were 5,252 refugees originating from Libya alongside 59,425 internally displaced persons registered by the UNHCR.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Timeline of the First Libyan Civil War</span>

The timeline of the First Libyan Civil War begins on 15 February 2011 and ends on 20 October 2011. It begins with a series of peaceful protests, similar to others of the Arab Spring, later becoming a full-scale civil war between the forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi's government and the anti-Gaddafi forces. The conflict can roughly be divided into two periods before and after external military intervention authorized by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Timeline of the 2011 Libyan Civil War and military intervention (19 March – May)</span>

The Libyan Civil War began on 15 February 2011 as a civil protest and later evolved into a widespread uprising. However, by 19 March, Libyan forces under Colonel Muammar Gaddafi were on the brink of a decisive victory over rebels in Libya's east. That day, leading NATO members acted on United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 which authorized member states "to take all necessary measures... to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi, while excluding an occupation force".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Humanitarian situation during the 2011 Libyan Civil War</span>

By the end of February 2011, medical supplies, fuel and food were dangerously low in Libya. On 25 February, the International Committee of the Red Cross launched an emergency appeal for US$6,400,000 to meet the emergency needs of people affected by the violent unrest in Libya. On 2 March, the ICRC's director general reminded everyone taking part in the violence that health workers must be allowed to do their jobs safely.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Libya Shield Force</span> Islamist armed group

The Libya Shield Force is an armed organisation formed in 2012 out of anti-Gaddafi armed groups spread throughout Libya. The Libyan parliament designated much of the Libya Shield Force as terrorist and elements of the Libya Shield Force were identified as linked to al-Qaeda as early as 2012.

This is a detailed timeline of the Second Libyan Civil War which lasted from 2014 to 2020.


  1. "Earthworks 60% complete on first section of Libyan network". Railway Gazette International . 2001-01-01.
  2. "Work starts on Libyan railway". Railway Gazette International . 2008-09-01. Retrieved 2009-01-24.

PD-icon.svg This article incorporates public domain material from World Factbook. CIA.