WASHINGTON, 25 July 2013 – Four hundred thousand people will be carried daily by the Quito Metro, once the first subway line in this South American city is operational. To make this project viable, the Executive Board of the World Bank today approved a loan of US$205 million to the Municipality of Quito through the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) window, which provides support for the development of middle-income countries, such as Ecuador.
The IBRD contribution, together with financing from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF), as well as local and government resources, will make this ambitious project a reality.
The aim is to improve urban transit in the city of Quito in response to the increasing demand for public transportation. The project will reduce travel times, lower the operating costs of the transportation network and improve the connectivity, safety and convenience of the existing system.
The project will also have a positive long-term environmental impact, through an improvement in air quality owing to a reduction in the emission of pollutants and greenhouse gases, thereby reducing their harmful impact on the health of the city’s inhabitants.
It is the first time an infrastructure project of this nature has been undertaken in Ecuador, and as such it is a national and local priority, supported and co-financed by the national government and by the Municipality of Quito.
The Quito Metro Line One Project (PLMQ) involves an investment estimated at 1,499.9 million dollars (net of VAT). The line will be 23 kilometers long with 15 fully accessible stations, six with integrated access to the Metrobus-Q network, and initially be capable of carrying 23,000 people an hour in each direction. Quito Metro Line One will link the principal points of departure and arrival of transit passengers in Quito, and will service an area in which some 760,000 jobs are located.
Construction of Quito Metro Line One will take place in two phases. Phase one will comprise the multimodal stations at La Magdalena and El Labrador, currently under construction. Under phase two bids are being solicited for the construction of a depot and maintenance workshops, and for a depot access tunnel, 22 kilometers of subway line tunnel, the remaining 13 stations, shafts and an end-of-line facility. This phase also includes installation systems, with 11 subprojects comprising fire protection systems, elevators and escalators, ventilation, electrical substations, power distribution system, signaling system, electrification, fare collection and control system, station control system, and communication system.
For Susan Goldmark, World Bank Country Director for Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela, this loan will be of direct benefit to the poorest, students, workers and the inhabitants of the city as a whole as they seek to make the best use of their time and travel in greater safety and comfort as they go about their daily business. In addition, improving the public transport system is a way of promoting cohesion and social integration, since it provides the most vulnerable sectors of the population with increased access to employment, education and social services.
The Quito Metro will therefore become the axis of the Integrated Mass Passenger Transportation System of the Metropolitan District of Quito, a system that will integrate the city’s existing public transportation systems and which, according to studies carried out by experts in the Community of Madrid, will mean that 9 out of every 10 Quito inhabitants will have access to the Integrated System within four blocks of their home or place of work.
Quito Metro Line One will employ modern technology to ensure the safety and efficiency of the service.