Dangling from the doors, risking their lives, is a common every was to travel on the ‘tren urbano’ (commuter train) in Costa Rica. Some users even ride in the space between two moving cars because the train is completely full.
The worst of the cases is the 5 o’clock afternoon train from Belen to San Jose. On this stretch of track, the cars are completely full, there is no more capacity, but yet, on repeated occasions, it’s not uncommon to hear the ticket collected shout out: there is still space, move back.
On this afternoon train, though all the available seats are occupied, standing room is crowded, some, to get home, will dangle from the doors. The alternative is to take the bus, but that would add an hour or more to getting home.
Faced with the situation, users are asking the Incofer (the national railway) for immediate action. However, the call falls on deaf ears.
Related: Treneando: Ten Years of the Commuter Train In San Jose
But it’s not only the users calling for action emergency responders are also doing the same. The Bomberos (Fire Department), for example, is one of the more vocal on the issue.
Telenoticias, the local channel 7 news station, confirmed the situation on Wednesday, reports and the cameras rolling on three separate trips on Wednesday.
Given the presence of the news cameras and the television report Wednesday night, Transfeco, the Incofer team that operates the train in the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM) have been quiet, telling Telenoticias they would not refer publicly on the subject.
Pressed (no pun intended), Edgar Quesada, head of the Transfeco, told Telenoticias reported Dudly Lynch that the Incofer insurance policy would cover users in the event they were injured or worse died falling off the coupling.
An interesting read: There’s an Unbelievable Train in China That Passes Directly Through Apartment Buildings