Bachelet launches US$4.2bn transport plan

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet announced a nearly US$4.2bn transport infrastructure plan, including one new metro line in Santiago, cable car systems in three other cities and rail projects.

The plan includes US$1.9bn in new concessions, with the expansion of PPPs to the metro system, and US$2.2bn in works directly funded by the government.

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In Santiago, the program involves developing feasibility studies for a new metro line – No. 7 – under a PPP model to alleviate congestion on line No. 1, which runs east-west and transports 43% of the subway's passengers.

"We've asked Metro's board to start studies so that during the current administration [ending 2019] construction of a new line could start," Bachelet said in a speech to launch the plan.

The president also detailed plans to expand line No 3 – currently under construction – by 3.8km and line No. 2 by 5km, with a total investment of US$1.17bn.

The government will also invest an additional US$317mn in expanding metro capacity with new trains.

State company Metro de Santiago is currently building the 22km-long line No 3, which will connect Ñuñoa in eastern Santiago and Huechuraba in the north of the city, and line 6, a US$1.06bn project that will run 15.3km from centrally located Providencia to Cerrillos in the west.

The government will also build three cable car systems in northern Iquique and Antofagasta cities and in central Valparaíso.

Iquique's cable car will be 3.3km long and connect the city with Alto Hospicio, with three stations and a US$45mn investment.

In Antofagasta, plans involve a 13km cable car between the northeast and center of the city, with a US$275mn investment.

The government will also launch a tender for the concession of a cable car to connect the city's port area and the hillsides, with a US$66mn investment.

In southern Chile, the government will add 5km to Concepción's urban rail system and will perform feasibility studies to add new railway lines in Temuco and Puerto Montt.

The government is trying to speed up infrastructure investments to boost a weakening economy.