The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved a conditional credit line for $1.2 billion to finance a program to improve metropolitan railroads in Argentina. The Bank also approved the first loan in the credit line for $300 million for the Plaza Constitución–La Plata branch of the General Roca Railroad, which will benefit 2.4 million people in the Buenos Aires metropolitan area.
The overall objective of the conditional credit line is to help Argentina upgrade its metropolitan railroads to increase urban public transport services and improve the quality of life.
The General Roca branch improvements will improve and electrify passenger service over a distance of 52.6 kilometers. The project’s objective is to reduce travel times and accidents and improve reliability, in this way increasing ridership in the Buenos Aires–La Plata corridor.
In the first year of electrified operation, the Plaza Constitución–La Plata branch will carry an estimated 55 million passengers. The 9 million people using buses and automobiles are expected to switch to the railroad, which will help to reduce traffic congestion and pollution.
Riders on the General Roca line are among the poorest passengers in the metropolitan railroad system, which is normally used by low-income people.
Works to be financed by the loan include the rehabilitation and improvement of track, placement of artwork, upgrading of stations, implementation of a new signaling and communications system, a maintenance shop, and underpasses.
The beneficiaries are the residents of the municipalities of Avellaneda, Quilmes, Berazategui, Ensenada and La Plata, which comprise the rail line’s corridor.
The conditional credit line for up to $1.2 billion has a term of 10 years and a counterpart contribution of $300 million.