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IDB reaffirms commitment to urban transportation in Quito with new loan

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a $250 million loan to help build a metro line in the capital city of Quito, Ecuador. This operation, which adds to a $200 million loan approved in December 2012, is testimony to the commitment of the IDB to support sustainable urban mobility projects in areas under pressure to meet growing demands for an efficient public transportation system.

Quito’s First Metro Line will offer a sustainable and efficient mobility option for 360,000 passengers a day. The 15-station subway will run entirely underground over a 22 km-long, north-south route, and its train speed of 40 km/hour will cut travel time by 15 minutes. 

Greenhouse gases and other emissions will be initially reduced to 65 million tons a year, and these cuts will grow over time. The system will also offer enhanced access to families and to senior and handicapped citizens.

The project is moving at remarkable speed — Phase 1, which ended in 2015, included building La Magdalena and El Labrador intermodal stations that are already operational, connecting the system with bus transport services. Phase 2, which began in April 2016 and is currently under way, includes the construction of the tunnel, stations and wagon sheds.

Its social benefits are already apparent: the project employs nearly 5,000 workers, and in 2017 more than 1,200 Metro workmen were trained on awareness of and commitment to sexual violence prevention in public places.

The IDB acts as the leading bank and coordinator of four multilateral lending institutions that finance 79% of the project and provide permanent technical support on planning, management and operating issues. This coordination has paved the way for building consensus, anticipating solutions and simplifying relations between lenders and the executing party, smoothing project implementation.

Quito has over 2.5 million inhabitants, who make 5.6 million journeys a day. The number of private vehicles is growing at a nearly 10% annual clip, and some 35% of all roads are reaching saturation point at peak hours. Some 77% of road traveling is made on public transportation, whose quality and efficiency have been affected by urban population growth, resulting in average speeds of 13 km/hour on critical corridors. This situation makes building a metro system even more imperative.

The IDB loan will be disbursed over a 3-year period and will be for a 25-year term, with a 7-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.