Metro de Medellin takes over Metroplus, plans US$19mn bus purchase

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Colombian city Medellin's state-owned subway firm Metro de Medellin will purchase buses for the city's Metroplus mass transport system during H1, a spokesperson from the city's transport division told BNamericas.

The purchase of the buses will be financed by the municipal government, which will disburse 35bn pesos (US$18.9mn) to Metro de Medellin for the operation as part of a municipal development plan.

On January 19, Metro de Medellin's board of directors decided to accept mayor Alonso Salazar's proposal for it to begin operating Metroplus, the city's head of communications, Lina Cuartas, told BNamericas.

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"This means that, as of January 19, Metro de Medellin officially became Metroplus' operator," Cuartas said.

Salazar made the request after failing to reach an agreement with current bus owners regarding their participation in the transport system.

Under the city's original plans, Medellin's bus operators would become responsible for purchasing new buses and would have had a key role in operating the system. However, the two sides failed to agree terms regarding the income.

The system, which would have been a public-private partnership, will now be fully managed by the public sector, the transport division spokesperson said.


As well as taking over the Metroplus, Metro de Medellin is currently working to expand its network. Two new stations in the city's southern area will be opened this year, according the spokesperson.

The firm is also working with the municipal government to plan a trolley system that will form part of the Metroplus network.

Finally, Metro de Medellin is evaluating new cable car projects to expand its Metrocable division.