Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum has announced a 40-billion-peso (US $2-billion) investment to modernize the Metro transit system over the next five years.
She made the announcement Wednesday at an event celebrating the 50th anniversary of the transportation system.
“The best way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the #MetroCDMX is to commit ourselves to the next 50,” she posted on her Twitter account. “Here, what we’re going to do includes modernization, re-strengthening, improving stations, stairways, new trains.”
The city government plans to improve train control and automation, user information and payment systems.
It also plans to increase the capacity of the network in order to reduce wait times and the saturation of stations.
The plan includes the purchase of 30 new rail cars for Line 1 between 2020 and 2024. The bigger, more modern cars are intended to increase capacity, reduce technical failures and save on maintenance.
The 17.74-billion-peso investment in the one line will have an impact on the entire system. With 20 stations and 13 connections, improvements on Line 1 are expected to have a positive effect on the rest of the system.
Line 1 will also see tracks upgraded and updated electric and electronic systems. The modernization of its communications-based control system will allow for the hourly train frequency to increase from 30 to 36.
The plan also includes repairs to the system’s escalators, bringing them up to international standards, as well as improved lighting, ventilation and fire emergency systems.
The Mexico City Metro has 12 lines, extending over 226.49 kilometers of tracks and connecting 195 stations.
Its current fleet of 3,333 train cars transports more than 1.6 billion passengers per year.
Sheinbaum touched on the decision to modernize the system rather than add a new line. “We could have decided to install a new line, but we made the decision to modernize the Metro because if we don’t modernize, if we don’t move on to a new phase, it will be difficult to talk of adding new lines.”
“It’s up us to establish new technology that will allow the Metro to move more users and function better with the lines it already has,” she added.