Metro will begin test runs in December

The President of the Republic, Ricardo Martinelli, announced yesterday that the public works contract for construction of the second line of the Panama Metro, which will extend from San Miguelito to the 24 de Diciembre sector, will be put up for tender before the end of 2013.

On a tour of the elevated section of the Panama Metro, Martinelli reported that a subsequent bid will be opened for the third Metro line, which will run from Albrook to La Chorrera in western Panama City. For the construction of the third line, the President is awaiting the approval of the Japanese government for funding. The amount of the loan was not specified.

“Funding will be provided for a 40-year term with a 10 year no-interest grace period and then low interest rates of 1% to 2%,” informed Martinelli. The first Metro line is currently 72% completed and by December they should be able to start testing out the  electromechanical railway system. The fare to ride the Metro has not yet been established; however, the president reiterated that it will be free during the test runs.

Ciro Limones, a consultant to the Panama Metro Department, explained that 12 de Octubre is the highest station, followed by Pueblo Nuevo and San Miguelito. The first Metro line will travel 13.7 kilometers from Albrook to the Los Andes shopping mall in a time of 23 minutes, allowing some 15,000 people to commute daily.