More than a controversial year and a half later, Line 12 of the Mexico City subway system, known as the Metro, is open again and completely operational and, according to the city’s mayor, it will remain so.
The subway line, known in the capital as the Golden Line for the distinct color of its signs, began operations on October 2012.
But 17 months later, in March 2014, 11 of its 20 stations were shut down due to poor maintenance, severe wear and tear and a near derailment, all in the midst of an embezzlement scandal that still hangs over ex-mayor Marcelo Ebrard.
Nearly half a million people were affected every day during the time those stations remained closed, as up to two hours were added to their daily commute.
A month ago, five stations came back online, while the remaining six did so on Sunday, accompanied by Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera’s commitment to “never shutting down again.”
He said that to accomplish that goal the line would undergo “exhaustive and detailed maintenance.”
Metro system boss Jorge Gaviño declared that never again will a multi-million-peso investment end up as “scrap metal,” in reference to tracks and infrastructure that had to be replaced.
Mancera has reportedly signed a three-year, 150 million-peso (US $9.1 million) contract for the maintenance of the Golden Line.
Federal District comptroller Eduardo Rovelo said there have been 86 preliminary inquiries into the line’s construction failings. The investigations have implicated the involvement of 46 staff, 12 of whom are facing legal action. Among those is former Project Metro director Enrique Horcasitas, who was in charge of Line 12’s construction.
The 25-kilometer line, built for US $1.7 billion, has 20 stations, eight of them underground, and serves seven of the city’s boroughs.