Metro systems are riding a wave of popularity in Latin America, where governments see them as viable solutions to mitigate traffic congestion and strengthen mass transit, according to the BNamericas Intelligence Series report Going Underground: Are Metros the Answer to Latin America's Urban Transport Needs?
Some of the highlighted projects are the US$7.5bn Bogotá metro; Lima's lines No. 3 and 6 (around US$5.5bn each), Panama City's line No. 3 (US$2.8bn) and the second stage of the Quito metro (US$1.5bn).
Meanwhile, Santiago, São Paulo and Buenos Aires are also expanding their subway systems.
challenges faced by the cities include high operation and construction
costs – which can reach US$70mn-100mn/km – and has led some governments
to turn to public-private partnerships.
Experts says that metro
systems are not a cure-all, but rather serve to complement existing mass
transport systems, which can include bus rapid transport, managed by
one authority and with an integrated collection system.