The World Bank reaffirms the importance of Quito’s inaugural metro line, as the organization provides an additional $205 million loan towards the construction of Line 1.
The project, which is expected to be completed by 10 August 2018, is being overseen and financed by the Municipality of Quito, while Empresa Publica Metropolitana Metro de Quito have responsibility for overseeing construction and operation.
In total, the project is expected to cost $1.68 billion, with funding provided by the Inter-American Development Bank ($200 million), the European Investment Bank ($259 million) and the Andean Development Corporation ($250 million).
The remaining finances will be provided by the Ecuadorian government ($40 million), Ecuadorian bank BIESS ($157 million), and export credit ($196 million).
The estimated costs for the Project is US$73 million per km, including rolling stock. This cost is lower than the cost of most Metro lines in Brazil, China, and Europe (with the exception of some routes in Spain).
Demand estimates show that in 2017, the expected first year of operation, Line 1 will carry 295,000 passengers per day and will gradually increase to 369,000 passengers per day as fare integration occurs.
The 23-kilometre metro will be built in two phases. Phase one is already underway, with stations under construction at La Magdalena and El Labrador.
Phase two will include the construction of 13 more stations, access tunnels, a depot and sub-systems.
The physical integration between the Metro and Metrobus-Q is also expected to benefit riders, with six metro stations to be constructed under Metrobus-Q stations. Metro de Quito will gradually integrate fares, which is predicted to contribute to increasing ridership.
An integrated tariff would increase spending on transport for some households, resulting in an increase of the existing $0.25 ticket, which is heavily subsidized by the government. Intermodal tariff integration exists at present between users of the central Metrobus-Q system and feeder busses, however, this integrated fare is generally under-utilized. Under new proposals, users would pay US$0.35 for one journey or US$0.60 for two or more journeys.
The World Bank have given a strong endorsement for the project, which they believe will deliver significant social improvements, a reduced environmental impact and will support economic growth in the city.
It is predicted that the metro will become the fastest means of transport in the city, saving users an average of 24 minutes per trip each day. In addition, the reduced number of cars will create a saving of 4 minutes per day for private vehicle users and just over 2 minutes a day for public vehicle users.
The development of the cities metro will also result in a 2.5 million ton reduction in CO2 emissions over the next 30 years.
The completion of the metro project will mean that 76% of the population will live within 200 metres of the cities public transport network, a significant improvement when compared to the current situation. Reduced travel times, greater ease of access and improved urban integration will create new job opportunities and increased free time for the cities poorer communities.