Train to Return to San José

August 12, 2005

AFTER not being used for nearly a decade, the train tracks of San José will be brought out of retirement in the coming weeks for a passenger train that will bring commuters to and from San José as part of an effort to reduce the country’s fuel dependency, Minister of Public Works and Transport Randall Quirós announced Tuesday.The train system, shut down in 1996, will carry passengers twice daily between Pavas, west of San José, to the University of Costa Rica, east of San José. During this first stage, officials will observe the reaction of users, expected to amount to 500 people daily, and then consider reactivating the train north to Heredia and east to Cartago, Quirós told The Tico Times.The initiation of the pilot program is based on an emergency situation caused by the high cost of oil, which reached $64 a barrel this week.Last week the government kicked off two other measures to lessen national gas use by reducing traffic. The first restricts drivers from entering central San José once a week, based on license plate number (TT, Aug. 5). Violators are fined ¢5,000 ($10.50). The second measure changes the work schedules of public employees by one hour.Approximately 500 people a day have been ticketed for violating the measure.

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