The Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) has agreed a loan of $550m to part-fund the $1.3bn Fast Passenger Train project for San José. The remainder would come from public-private partnerships.
The plan is to build a 73km electrified line around the country’s capital, including 42 station hubs in the provinces of San Jose, Heredia, Alajuela and Cartago, serving up to 2.5 million people. The private sector consortium that is to finance, build and operate the line will be selected by international tender.
The loan will have a term of 25 years, a five-year grace-period and an interest rate of 1.55%.
The project is being taken forward by the administration of President Carlos Alvarado before the next general election, to be held in 2022. The scheme is being overseen by architect and urban planner Claudia Dobles, the wife of Alvarado.
President Alvarado commented: "The Electric Passenger Train in the Greater Metropolitan Area is a transformative project that will change the lives of thousands of people in Costa Rica … In addition, the project is a milestone that lets us dream about other initiatives, such as a Central American Train. It is one of the best investments that the country can make and we are pleased that the Central American Bank for Economic Integration is a key part of this significant project."
Dante Mossi, CABEI’s president, said the project would be a benchmark for the others in the region.
Image: San José presently depends on road transport (Tillor87/CC BY-SA 3.0)