The promise for an expanded electric train system in the San José metropolitan area will start to take form as soon as January 2012 when a Spanish train company begins an in-depth study into the project.
The Spanish company, Ferrocarriles de Vía Estrecha, will begin what is expected to be a four-month study into the parameters and details of a train system that would link high population places in the provinces of Alajuela, Cartago, Heredia y San José surrounding the greater metropolitan area of the capital city.
The study is expected to last four months and calculate an accurate cost of the train project. Previously the cost of such an expanded train system had been estimated to be $800 million, apart from operating expenses.
Another focus of the study will be how to integrate the electric train system with other forms of public transportation, such as buses and taxis. Currently the municipality of San José is considering the installation of a state-of-the-art trolley system. A French transit company is simultaneously conducting a feasibility study.
In a presentation at a press conference Wednesday Costa Rican transportation officials affirmed their commitment to exploring the electric train project. Representatives from the Spanish firm outlined the benefits of a train system, linking urban trains to a higher quality of life, noise and pollution reduction, shorter commuting times and less transportation related fatalities.
The firm is the same one from which the Instituto Costarricense de Ferrocarriles purchased reconditioned passenger cars.