Tuesday, April 23, 2024

8 weeks after Metro tragedy, Mexico City replaces head of transit system

Exactly eight weeks after the Mexico City Metro disaster that claimed the lives of 26 people, the chief of the subway system was replaced on Monday.

Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum announced that Florencia Serranía, who became general director of Metro operator STC in 2018, had been replaced by Guillermo Calderón Aguilera, a veteran transport official.

The announcement came a week after Sheinbaum met with President López Obrador and businessman Carlos Slim to discuss plans to repair Line 12, an elevated section of which collapsed on May 3, causing two train carriages to plunge toward a busy road below. Slim’s company Carso Infrastructure and Construction partially built the line, the newest of the 52-year-old Metro system.

“We want to thank Dr. Florencia Serranía for all the effort and work … she has put into the Metro,” Sheinbaum told a press conference.

“… As of today, the engineer Guillermo Calderón Aguilera takes over the management of STC Metro. He is a specialist in the management of projects and processes who specializes in the implementation and operation of urban transport systems,” the mayor said.

Calderón, a former director of the capital’s Metrobús system, said Sheinbaum asked him to focus on delivering a safe and efficient Metro system.

“I want to share that the first instruction I have received from the mayor is to continue with the efforts to guarantee a safe and efficient Metro for passengers,” he said.

With regard to Line 12, the priority, Calderón said, will be to continue to attend to the victims of last month’s tragedy and their families, and to support DNV, a Norwegian company contracted by the government to carry out an independent inquiry into the cause of the accident.

DNV’s preliminary results indicate that a series of faults during construction caused the overpass to collapse, while heavier track components installed in 2014 may have overburdened the structure supporting the elevated section of the line.

López Obrador pledged last week that the entirety of Line 12, which primarily serves poor neighborhoods in Mexico City’s southeast, will reopen within a year.

Calderón said that another important project is the rehabilitation of the Metro’s downtown substation where a fatal fire broke out in January.

With reports from Milenio 

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