The Subte of Buenos Aires is tried and true, predictable as the tide. You’ve got the D line strikes (announced and suddenly lifted within the same day), you’ve got the vendedores ambulantes placing unwanted packets of tissues in your lap, and you’ve got the shockingly-early before-midnight closure time – considering Buenos Aires is known for its party til’ dawn nightlife. Yet the most predictable things are those that can surprise us the most.
The Subte family is scheduled to soon extend a warm welcome to a new member – the F line. In 2001, BA’s local government introduced the idea of a subway line connecting Palermo and Barracas, which would allow passengers to travel between the two neighborhoods without transferring trains. Yesterday, on July 15th, eighteen years later, the government has taken the first step to make these plans come to fruition.
The government company Subterráneos de Buenos Aires (Sbase) announced a national and international search for an external contractor to oversee the construction of the new line. The potential contractor, to be formally selected in September, will be responsible for the final design and technical details of the project. The line will be the first to operate entirely on automation, without drivers or guards, and will run primarily under the axis of the Entre Ríos and Callao avenues.
The allocated budget amount for the construction of the line is US $5,000,000. After the bid is officially awarded to a contracting firm, it will have nine months to complete all preliminary work prior to construction. In the first three months, the firm will have to validate and adjust the conceptual blueprint already prepared for the new line. The remaining six months will be devoted to securing all appropriate documentation, such as work plans and equipment orders.
“This is a very important step we are taking,” said Eduardo de Montmollin, the president of Sbase in an interview with La Nación. “Constructing a subway line requires very thorough, meticulous preliminary work. That is why we launched this public bidding.”
The preliminary blueprint foresees the line as running 12 kilometers long and containing 13 stations. According to some estimates, the F line would allow for the daily transport of approximately 600,000 passengers. If nothing else, it will bring peace to Twitter user @ocatarinetabel2 who voiced a long-lasting concern that we both happen to share: “The fact that they finished the H line before they did the F and G lines has been disturbing for me for a while.”
Leo que abren la licitación para la línea F del subte. El hecho de que hicieran la H antes de la F, G e I me perturbó todo este tiempo.
— ocatarinetabelachitchix (@ocatarinetabel2) July 15, 2019