The Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes (MOPT) announced that the Interlinea – intersectoral buses of San José – will start opertaring on Wednesday, October 2.
The announcement came late Thurday night after a long session breaking before 11pm, where the Consejo de Transporte Público (CTP) approved the plans for the bus routes. Required still is the endorsement of bus operators.
Silvia Bolaños, viceministra de Transportes (Deputy Minister of Transport), simply said the buses on the new routes will run every 15 to 20 minutes, with an average of 30 stops on each route. More details are expected in the coming days.
The extra long session at the CTP came after Thursday morning’s publishing in “La Gaceta” of the “executive order” that called for the Interlinea to be up and running within three working days.
The Intelinea bus routes are three: Escazú – La Uruca; Moravia – La Uruca; and Guadalupe – Desamparados. The routes will operate on a trial basis for six months.
The objective of the three routes is move passengers without the need to travel to and from downtown San José.
For example, today, a passenger travelling to and from Escazú and La Uruca will have to take two buses: one bus to and from Escazú and downtown San José and another to and from downtown San José and La Uruca. Other than the obvious of having to pay only one bus fare instead of two, passengers of the interlinea can travel to and fro other sectors like Pavas, Rohormoser and La Sabana, again, without having to travel to downtown San José and back.
The single fare of each of the three interlinea routes is ¢350 colones.
According to Maritza Hernández, president of Cámara de Transportistas (Carriers Chamber), the new routes will not replace the existing.
“Passengers have the option to choose”, said Hernández.
The idea of the Interlinea began back in 2008 by the Arias administration (2006-2010). The routes were mapped out, the concession contracts signed and the buses purchased. Legal roadblocks put the brakes on the plan, with an administrative tribunal killing the plan on the eve of the July 7, 2008 start.
The current administration (2010-2014) tried to revive the Interlinea within the first year of its mandate. But failed.
The current “emergency” with the temporary closure of the Circunvalación pushed the Chinchilla administration into a corner. Having to provide a solution to the chaotic traffic congestion caused by the closure, it did so in a matter of a couple of weeks what it could not do in the last three.