Do you hate waking up earlier than you have to, but because you just know that you are going to get stuck in traffic on the way to work? If so, then we have some great news for you! If not, then keep reading anyway.
Buenos Aires is currently undergoing projects to eliminate 27 of the city’s 74 street-level train crossings by elevating the train lines. This means that if you’re driving or taking the bus, no more waiting for those dreaded red and white barricades to raise, and an extra 15 minutes that you can spend between the sheets.
Work on these projects, which will eliminate street-level crossings on the Mitre, San Martín, and South Belgrano train lines, will begin this week. These lines currently cut through neighborhoods such as Palermo, Nuñez, Pompeya, and Barracas.
Upgrades to the Mitre line will include an extension of 3.9 kilometers between Palermo and Nuñez. The train tracks, which already run elevated behind the Hipódromo, will continued elevated all the way to Congreso Avenue. The expected cost is 2.6 million pesos, and the goal is to have the project finished by March, 2019.
On average, the barricades along the Mitre line are lowered between 20 and 30 minutes every hour, inevitably causing massive delays. The elimination of 8 of these street-level train crossings should make commuting noticeably faster for the 30,000 bus riders and 70,000 motorists who have to cross over the train tracks daily.
Life will also become easier for the 100,000 passengers who use the Mitre line every day. Trains will run more frequently, easing rush hour crowds.
“We now have frequencies between ten and fifteen minutes between one train and the other, the idea is to reach between 3 and 5 minutes ,” noted Germán Bussi, Planning Secretary of the Ministry of Transportation.
Upgrades to the South Belgrano train line will include elevating the tracks for 5.6 km, from Tilcara Avenue to Constitución (Yes! This means the line will extend past Buenos Aires Station to Constitución). Part of the project has already begun, with the elevated Sáenz Station.
Eliminating 8 train-crossing barricades, this project will ease the daily commutes of a whopping 370,000 bus riders, as well as 50,000 motorists and 50,000 train users.
The project will cost 2.385 million pesos, and is financed in part by loans from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Andean Development Corporation (CAF).
Work has also begun on the San Martín train line, which will elevate the train from Honduras Street to Garmendia Avenue. 11 level-crossings will be eliminated, benefitting 170,000 train riders, 250,000 bus riders, and 260,000 motorists every day.
The upgrades to the San Martín line are expected to cost 3.9 million pesos.