Chinchilla: Train route to Alajuela will be ready in a year

April 8, 2014

On Monday, President Laura Chinchilla announced that a new train route connecting San José with the province of Alajuela will be ready on April 11, 2014, a projected delay of four months. Chinchilla made the announcement during an official inauguration ceremony for the project in Alajuela.

Officials from the Costa Rican Railroad Institute (INCOFER) previously said the train would be set to begin next December, but construction delays postponed the route’s opening.

“This project is part of my administration. We already built the train to Belén [Heredia], and now we’re almost there with [the train to] Cartago,” the president said.

Also on Monday, the Public Services Regulatory Authority (ARESEP) announced fare prices for train service from the capital to the province of Cartago. The new fare will cost ₡495 ($0.99), and seniors will ride for free.

INCOFER had requested a ₡570 ($1.15) fare, but both technical and financial studies done by ARESEP concluded that the cost should be lower, because the type of train that will provide the service is different from  that proposed in the initial project.

Trains are expected to begin operating along the new Cartago route later this month or in early May.

Two cars with a capacity of 90 passengers per trip will cover the San José-Cartago route. INCOFER estimates that some 5,400 passengers per day will use the new service.

The route is 19.8 kilometers (12.3 miles), and trains will make 12 daily trips, Monday through Friday. The first train will leave Cartago at 5:30 a.m., and the last one will depart from San José at 6:40 p.m. The schedule was designed to meet passenger demand during peak hours in the mornings and afternoons, officials said.

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