SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic, December 19. According to Diandino Peña, the monthly operating cost of the Santo Domingo Metro will come to roughly $3 million US, or $105 million pesos at the current exchange rate.
Mr. Peña, the Director of the Transportation Reform Office (OPRET), also announced that on Monday Metro will begin the long-awaited in-service test of Rapid Mass Transit Line 1, with full access to passengers at no charge through Epiphany on January 6. Ten trains will circulate, each with a capacity of 650 passengers, and straphangers will have to wait no more than 5-6 minutes for a train.
Mr. Peña made the announcement alongside Manuel Vásquez, Miguel Ángel Sánchez and Rafael Serrano. Mr. Vásquez, from Spain, was a consultant on the construction of the Santo Domingo Metro on loan from the Madrid Metro. Mr. Sánchez will serve as Chief of Operations for the Santo Domingo Metro representing the Spanish side, while Mr. Serrano will fill the same function on the Dominican side.
Mr. Peña explained that once the in-service test with passengers is completed, covering the entire line and all the stations, they will conduct an inspection and evaluation of all of the subsystems and rolling stock in terms of their ability to respond to diverse situations, in the face of a demand that is expected to be higher than originally projected.
Once all the 19 trains are put into service, Mr. Peña said, they will prepare to charge fares by the end of January. He and his colleagues invited all who are interested in the Metro to visit the sixteen stations on Line 1 during the following hours:
|December 22-24, 26-28 and 31; January 2-6||9:00 AM through 7:00 PM|
|December 25 and January 1||1:00 PM through 7:00 PM|
|December 29 and 30||7:00 AM through 7:00 PM|
On the other side of the operations, Mr. Peña announced that the OPRET will meet with Dominican business owners, including transportation syndicates, to determine who will operate feeder lines to the Metro. He also assured the audience that the operation of the Metro will not affect electricity consumers nearby, because it is fed by two power lines of 69 and 138 megawatts.
As for the operating cost of the Metro, Mr. Peña explained that at the beginning it was expected to be around three million dollars per month, but eventually it would be lower due to better understanding of the system.