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The project to install a light train in Colombian capital Bogotá will cost 1.5tn pesos (US$496mn) with 1tn pesos in guaranteed funding from the national government, while the remaining 500bn will come from Cundinamarca department, President Juan Manuel Santos announced.
The finance ministry's social and economic policy council (Conpes) declared that the initiative, dubbed Regiotram, was of strategic importance, which secures the funding from the central government, the ministry stated in a release.
The project involves installing a 40.9km light train system with 18 stations that would run between Facatativá municipality and the intersection of Calle 19 and Carrera 10 streets in Bogotá, benefiting 600,000 residents and connecting the capital districts with the western municipalities in Cundinamarca department, the ministry added.
"One great advantage the project has is that after [being built] it will be operated through a public-private partnership system, which will be self-sustaining with fares that guarantee that residents can easily transport themselves to Bogota's mass transport systems, such as Trasnmilenio and the future Metro," said finance minister Mauricio Cárdenas.
The government official added that, in the future, the light train will be able to connect the El Dorado international airport to the second airport that will be built in the capital.
Santos, meanwhile, said that the next step for the project is to sign a financing agreement "which should happen very soon" and would open the door for the tender to carry out the initiative, according to a separate press release from the presidency. The tender process is expected to start this year.