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Latino Daily News

Sunday March 2, 2014

Panama Unveils First Metro System in Central America

Panama Unveils First Metro System in Central America

Photo: Panama City metro

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The consortium made up of Spanish construction group FCC and Brazilian engineering giant Odebrecht has delivered Line 1 of Panama City’s metro system, the first of its kind in Central America, wrapping up a project that took 41 months to complete and cost $2.01 billion.

The new metro was unveiled in a ceremony Friday at the headquarters of Panama’s Metro Secretariat, officials told Efe.

The metro system’s Line 1 was initially intended to stretch for 13.7 kilometers (8.5 miles) and include 13 stations, both above and below ground, but a pair of kilometers and two stations were later added, raising the price by $211.6 million, officials confirmed Friday.

Financing for the project has come from Citibank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Andean Development Corporation, known as the CAF, and the Panamanian Economy and Finance Ministry.

Additional support has been provided by institutions such as French export credit agency Coface, Spain’s Cesce and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, the political risk insurance arm of the World Bank Group.

The trains were built at French multinational Alstom’s plant in Barcelona.

The trains will consist of three cars initially, though they have a five-car capacity. Each has air conditioning, video monitoring equipment, passenger information systems and designated seating for the disabled.

Once it reaches full operating capacity between May and June, Line 1 will be able to transport up to 30,000 people an hour in both directions.

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