(QCOSTARICA) The government on Monday (May 4) presented to the Legislative Assembly the draft law of the loan contract with the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI), which will be used for the construction of the Passenger Electric Train of the Great Metropolitan Area.
Costa Rica President Carlos Alvarado, in his annual message to the Legislative Assembly, noted that it will be the largest concession work that the country will have and “will transform our nation in mobility, health and competitiveness. This and the other infrastructure works will be essential and irreplaceable for the recovery and employment that our country needs.”
The loan contract with CABEI is for up to US$550 million, with a 25-year term, no commitment fee and a 5-year grace period to finance the state contribution to the project, which will have a counterpart of US$1 billion in foreign investment as it is a concession project.
The project for the construction, equipment, start-up, operation and maintenance of the Electric Passenger Train will generate around 2,670 jobs (1,200 in the construction phase and 1,470 in the operational phase) and will benefit different sectors through productive linkages and indirect job generation.
The Electric Train is proposed as the core of the transport system, as well as a fiscally responsible public investment project. In addition, it will enable an intermodal public transport system, so that people will be able to use the train and connect to the bus service.
“This is a very important project for the country because it will be a trigger in the modernization of our public transport. It will allow us to generate more demand, as well as a quality service to users. We will get people back on public transport, not only on the train, but also on the buses, on taxis, through an intermodal system,” said the Minister of Public Works and Transport, Rodolfo Méndez.
For her part, the First Lady Claudia Dobles, the promoter of the Electric Train, explained that this project will be carried out through the Public-Private Partnership scheme in the form of a concession.
“Through a concession, it will allow the country to make the economy more dynamic, be more competitive, have a better transportation infrastructure and zero emissions and quality system, as well as generate more jobs,” said Dobles.
For the Minister of Planning and Economic Policy and coordinator of the Economic Team, Pilar Garrido, “this initiative that was born to transform public transport into a modern, safe, sustainable and reliable, is one of the greatest alternatives to boost the national economy and support many families with the generation of quality employment, both in professional and non-professional labor.
About the Electric Train
The Electric Train will benefit over 1,350,000 inhabitants of the Greater Metropolitan Area, connecting four the most populated provinces – San Jose, Alajuela, Heredia and Cartago – and 15 cantons.
But it will also have a reactivating effect in the other regions of the country, such as the Pacific and the Atlantic, according to the government’s proposal.
It consists of providing a modern and comfortable electric train to the users of public transport, on the current right of way of INCOFER. The Electric Train will improve mobility conditions between the different points, in a safe, ecologically responsible, fast and efficient way, favoring the reduction in people’s travel times and collaborating with road decongestion.
The electric train will have 46 stations along 84 km, from Paraíso de Cartago to Coyol de Alajuela, on five lines: one connecting Paraíso de Cartago with the station to Atlántico (San Jose); one that connects the station to the Atlántico with Alajuela; one that connects the Atlántico with Ciruelas and another that makes the same journey in the opposite direction; and finally one that connects Ciruelas with El Coyol de Alajuela.
At least 10 of the stations will be intermodal stations, where passengers can transfer between other means of transport, such as buses, taxis, non-motorized mobility means and the Electric Train. These stations, in addition to promoting intermodal travel, will generate economic activation points along their route.
The Electric Train service would run at 18 hours a day, 7 days a week, with frequencies of 5 minutes in rush hour for weekdays.
The first phase of the electric rain system would open in 2025.
See full document (in Spanish).