WASHINGTON D.C., January 26, 2017 – Over 600,000 users of public transport in the Metropolitan Area of Buenos Aires (AMBA), Argentina, will benefit from a new US$ 45 million loan that The World Bank Board of Directors approved today. The financing will support two key infrastructure projects: a new bus corridor (Metrobus) in Buenos Aires Province and a transfer center in the south of the City of Buenos Aires.
“These investments are excellent news and further proof that the world has confidence in the projects the national government is advancing to have impact and social transformation in Argentina. We managed to include in this loan the Sáenz Transfer Center, which is a very important project for the residents of the City and Province of Buenos Aires, and particularly for train users,” said Guillermo Dietrich, Transport Minister of Argentina.
The loan serves as additional financing for the Urban Transport in Metropolitan Areas Project (PTUMA, in Spanish), which was launched in 2010 to build institutional capacity for planning and management of urban transport and to improve the quality and sustainability of public transport services in urban areas around the country.
“These investments will help give low-income residents faster and safer access to jobs, schools, hospitals, businesses and other urban services, contributing to poverty reduction and promoting sustainable growth,” said Jesko Hentschel, World Bank director for Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.
In this new project phase, the Metrobus rapid bus system will be completed in La Matanza District, which includes a 16-kilometer route with 40 new stops in one of poorest districts of the metropolitan region. This project, which began in early 2016, is now 60 percent complete. It will benefit an estimated 240,000 users who will reduce their travel time by approximately 30 percent.
Additionally, in the Nueva Pompeya neighborhood of Buenos Aires, the new Sáenz Terminal of the Belgrano Sur railway will be built, as well as a section of railroad tracks on a viaduct, which in the future will enable the train to reach the Constitución Station, one of the main points of the metropolitan train system. This work will eliminate crossings and open new vehicle and pedestrian routes, increasing security and improving traffic flow in the area. The project will also build a transfer center that will connect with the future Sáenz Terminal of Subway Line H and the Metrobus Sur bus lines. An estimated 400,000 users who circulate through the area daily will reduce their travel times and neighborhood residents will enjoy an improved urban environment.
Since the project began, the World Bank has contributed to improving public transport through the construction of bus-only lanes in the cities of Rosario and Santa Fe, and to promoting non-motorized transport in several cities through the construction of bicycle lanes in Rosario, Córdoba, Salta and Tucumán. Additionally, the project promoted the creation of the AMBA Metropolitan Transportation Agency and the establishment of a graduate degree program in Transport Planning and Management at the University of Buenos Aires, which has had two graduating classes to date.
The new project will be financed with a variable-spread loan of US$ 45 million, with a maturity date of 32.5 years and a grace period of seven years.
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