In Bogotá we started talking about the Metro more than 70 years ago, but the capital of Colombia will have to wait at least until 2019 to see the beginning of the works of the first line if new obstacles are not registered and all administrative obstacles are resolved. The government has ratified this Monday its support for the construction of the nearly 24 kilometres of elevated rails that should connect the southwest and northeast of the city. He described the project as "strategic importance", in the words of Director Luis Fernando Mejía, director of the National Planning Department, and pledged to cover 70% of the 12.9 trillion pesos of the cost of this infrastructure, around 4,400 Million dollars. The remaining 30% would correspond to the Capital district, which must now ensure that amount before signing a cofinancing agreement.
Bogota is a city in which more than eight million people live, has a metropolitan area that approaches the ten million and suffers daily the inconvenience of traffic. The bottlenecks or trancones are common and the bus network christened Transmilenio, inaugurated 17 years ago, has not been enough to solve the problems of transport of the city, one of the few large capitals of the world that does not yet have Metro.
Its construction has become a sort of mirage. Bogotans have been listening to speculations or advertisements for decades. But the National Council for Economic and Social Policy (CONPES), the main Colombian Development Authority, ensures that this work has become a priority. The approved section complies, has explained, Mejia, the requirements of the infrastructure law and is in the study phase of "feasibility". In any case, the authorities have already set a minimum schedule. Between the end of this year and the beginning of 2018 the bidding process should be concretized, the work would begin in 2019 and be extended for five years.
What would the Bogotá metro line 1 be? It would unite one of the main stations of Transmilenio, Portal of the Americas, and the street 72 in the vicinity of the seventh race, one of the principal arteries of the city, in the locality of Chapinero. It would pass on the first avenue of May and the Caracas and would have 15 stations, of which 10 would be connected with the bus network. The aim of this transport system is to displace 72,000 passengers per hour in each direction. 20 trains will circulate every 60 minutes at a speed of 43 kilometres per hour and, according to Mejía, with a capacity of six passengers per square metre. The project also envisages the construction of three main lines that would elevate the cost of the work up to 19.5 trillion pesos. In the meantime, the Bogotá Metro is still a plan on planes.