San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Train service to Cartago begins Friday, despite fare dispute

After several delays, train service between San José and Cartago will finally begin on Friday at 5:30 a.m.

Conductors will make a total of 30 daily trips between the current capital and Costa Rica’s former colonial capital.

Travel time will be 43 minutes, and service will run from 5:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. at a fare of ₡550 ($ 1.10) each way, the Costa Rican Railroad Institute (INCOFER) said in a press conference on Monday.

INCOFER President Miguel Carabaguíaz said the train will depart from the old Atlantic Train station next to the National Library in San José, and will make five stops: at the University of Costa Rica, Universidad Latina, in Curridabat, the UACA campus, and in the canton of Tres Ríos, with a final destination of Cartago.

INCOFER expects some 5,500 people to use the new service every day.

Last week, INCOFER said service would start with a fare approved by the Public Services Regulatory Authority (ARESEP). But that fare is under dispute, as rail officials say it is too low to cover operating expenses.

Officials are waiting for a ruling on an appeal filed at ARESEP to hike the fare to ₡565. 

Contact L. Arias at

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