Everything we know (and don’t know) about Costa Rica’s future rapid transit system
In 2013, then-Environment Minister René Castro called transportation the “Achilles’ heel” of Costa Rica’s carbon-neutrality ambitions. In the last two years little has changed. Vehicles are still responsible for more than half the country’s carbon emissions, and every government attempt to curb this pollution has failed.
While there are still a few programs designed to encourage people to switch to more efficient vehicles, the current government’s plan to reduce vehicle emissions hinges on the creation of a rapid transit system to serve the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM, for its initials in Spanish). With the COP21 climate talks in Paris now underway, rumors of this hypothetical project are getting thrown around quite a bit. Here is everything we know about plans for an energy-efficient GAM transportation system.
What we know
1. Electric train to run from Cartago to Orotina
2. 2018 is the deadline for the first two phases
3. Past governments have tried and failed to begin an electric train project
4. Project will cost approximately $1.4 billion
What we don’t know
1. Any details about the train at all
The government wants to build a train. It wants that train to run on electricity. So far that is all the public (and likely the government itself) knows about the project. The government is awaiting conclusions from technical studies before deciding on a final plan.
2. If a train is the best option
INCOFER is the only government entity in Costa Rica that has both the power to control public transportation and build infrastructure. Though the country’s Transport Ministry (MOPT) also has these abilities, they are separated into different councils with separate budgets. This bureaucratic organization makes it impossible for the government to consider any type of public transit system other than a train without reorganizing itself.
Though the administration has already declared its support for a train, public transport experts say it may not be the best option.
3. Where the funding will come from
You may be interested
Costa Rica coronavirus measures for DecemberAlejandro Zúñiga - December 1, 2020
Costa Rica's coronavirus measures will continue unchanged in December. The current measures permit for most economic activity to operate with…
Authorities urge responsibility as coronavirus strains hospital capacityAlejandro Zúñiga - December 1, 2020
Costa Rica suffered 41 new coronavirus-related deaths between Friday and Tuesday for a total of 1,731, according to official data…
UN warns of impending debt crisis in Latin AmericaOscar BATRES / AFP - December 1, 2020
The Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), Antonio Guterres, warned Monday that Latin America could suffer in 2021 a…