Built under Ottoman rule, the first tramway line was put into service in Beirut in 1909.
The development of the tramway system revolutionized inner-urban travel in Lebanon’s capital. The Beirut line would take passengers as far as Dora on the city’s east side, to Furn al-Chebek and Horsch Beirut in the south, and back to the city’s west side in Manara. In the capital’s center, a circular line went from Martyrs’ Square to Riad el Solh and the harbor. A central depot was located in Rue du Fleuve.
In 1923, the Ottoman Tramway Company went bankrupt and was merged with Lebanon’s Gas and Electric Company.
At its height in 1931, the tramway traversed 12 kilometers of the country. With the influx of private cars, the tramway system became less and less popular, and eventually shut down for good in 1962.