Bogota Mayor Gustavo Petro on Tuesday revealed the latest plans to construct a $7.5 billion metro line, the first in Colombia’s capital. The plans were presented after a thorough study of the soil of the Bogota high plains. According to the Spanish engineer Jose Maria Villarroel, who designed the mass transit system, the metro will be able to transport some 900,000 commuters a day and will be able to function without conductors. The engineer said the metro line will have 27 stations through which a train will pass every two and a half minute.
While at the beginning of the presentation Villarroel said the construction of the metro would cost $5 billion, the engineer then added an extra $2.5 billion would have to be spent due to the wet Bogota soil. In 2011, the Petro administration said the metro would cost $3.5 billion, less than half of what it is projecting now.
The increased costs of the metro immediately caused reserved reactions with the national government that warned that if Bogota wants to construct a metro this expensive, other major projects would have to be abandoned.
“If they want to build this metro, remaining initiatives will have to be pushed forward. The nation, due to legal restrictions, can only contribute up to 70% of the construction cost y can not begin subsidizing the metro’s operating cost,” National Planning Department director Simon Gaviria was quoted as saying by El Tiempo newspaper.
Bogota has been talking about a metro since 1947. – Colombia Reports