With 33 miles (37 km) of new track, 28 new stations, and up to 50 percent reduction in travel times, commuters in Santiago have plenty to look forward to with the latest extension of the city’s Metro system.
Set to open in 2016, the project involves an investment of US$2.75 billion (CLP1.30 trillion) and includes the construction of two lines from the east of the city to the north and west. The extension will make the Metro system capable of handling 120 million additional trips annually.
One of the highlights of the extension is the new station at Estadio Nacional, the home stadium of Chile’s national soccer team, which was the site of the 1962 FIFA World Cup.
At the project’s launch at the stadium last month, Chilean President Sebastián Piñera said the new subway extension «will improve quality of life not only for the people of Santiago, but also for those from other regions. With this project we aim to change the face of our country’s public transport system.»
Among other innovations, the new lines will have doors on the platforms and eliminate the electrification of its rails, both taken to increase safety. The system will also incorporate modern air conditioning and closed circuit television.
With this extension of the network, the Santiago Metro will encompass 136 stations and 87 miles (140 km) of track, and be capable of carrying 700 million passengers a year. This makes the system the second largest in Latin America after Mexico City.
The Santiago Metro is renowned for its network coverage and efficiency, and was honored at the Metro Awards 2012 as the Best in America, beating out competition in Dallas, Pennsylvania, Montreal, Río de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.