The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a $600 million conditional credit line for investment projects that includes a $70 million loan to build Bogota’s First Metro Liner (PLMB, after its Spanish initials) – Segment 1.
Bogota’s demographic and urban growth over the past 20 years has turned it into Latin America’s No. 4 city in terms of economic dynamism. This growth produced an 81% rise in the use of private cars and 308% in that of motorcycles between 2007-2016. This situation affected mobility conditions in general and public transportation in particular, causing road saturation and increasing travel time for users. Rapid urbanization has also affected mobility, in particular for public transport users, whose travel speed plunged from 19.2 km/h to 16.6 km/h between 2010-2015. This mass transportation time increase translates into a productivity loss of 172,000 hours/day for the city.
This situation has led city authorities to develop a “Better Mobility for All” program that includes the public transportation system and PLMB.
PLMB will be 23.96 km long and run totally on an elevated platform. The project was chosen after comparing eight different proposals, all of which included 31 indicators – environmental, urban, building, social, financial, risk, etc.). The conclusion was that the elevated Metro can help save up to $61 million in investments per km and its operation will cost 28% less than an underground system. Additionally, it can be finished in a shorter period of time and construction risks are smaller than with the underground option.
Another key consideration was that PLMB be not just a transportation project but also a major urban renovation initiative, one that would be integrated with and at the same time invigorate the city public transport systems, in particular Transmilenio.
PLMB will implement technological innovations such as Building Information Modeling (BIM) to keep track of construction, as well as automatic driving trains. It will also take steps to discourage sexual violence, including security cameras with state-of-the-art technology and improve illumination and signaling both at stations and surrounding areas. The project will also include ramps for easy access to persons with disabilities.
The Metro liner will cover the area with the biggest demand for transportation in town – Caracas Avenue between 1 and 72 streets. The project will serve some 990,000 passengers a day. PLMB and the Transmilenio expansion will result in a more efficient system due to their physical and billing integration. Once the totality of the city’s mass transportation network is integrated, nearly 80% of Bogota residents will have a Metro stop within under 1 km from their location, which is expected to help reduce the use of private means of transportation.
This project aims to contribute to Bogota’s economic growth and improve citizens mobility and quality of life. In addition, the electric Metro will help reduce CO2 emissions in the capital district by 36,000 tons – a major contribution to the fight against greenhouse gases.
The first loan of the IDB’s conditional credit line, of $70 million, is for a 20-year term, with a 5.5-year disbursement period, a 5.5-year grace period and a LIBOR-based interest rate.
About the IDB
The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.