|Petro and the Metro.|
Altho during the campaign Mayor-elect Gustavo Petro was uncommital on subway plans, now that he's won he sounds like he wants to build one - except that he's not sure where. Petro's subway line will run north-south, but maybe also east-west, to cover a lot of the city.
|Lima's new metro: Ready to roll soon?|
The lessons from Lima: Don't count on things going smoothly. In an era of global economic turmoil, in a Colombia with an armed insurgency, lots of things could happen to halt subway construction for years or even decades.
Once it really got to work, Lima did progress at good speed - but Lima's is an above-ground train line. By most accounts, Bogotá's line would be mostly underground, complicating construction and meaning more urban trauma.
A Bogotá metro inauguration in 2036?
|Riding the rails in Algiers.|
The lesson from Algeria: To build a subway, plan on no economic turmoil or domestic unrest. Of course, none of that happens in Colombia.
A mini-metro for Bogotá in 2039?
|Wrapped up and ready to roll: |
a Bangalore, India metro train.
Yet, compare that to Bogotá's TransMilenio, which in about 12 years has constructed 84 kms of lines. Even its overdue and corruption-plagued Phase 3, which is supposed to start operating early next year after more than two years of construction, will add about 18 kms of lines (to be extended to 20). That's double the distance Bangalore built in five years, and almost what Lima built in three decades.
Keep in mind, too, that, while subways do move lots of people quickly and cleanly, they cost a fortune and do little to resolve traffic congestion.
Yes, a subway system would be a boost for Bogotá - but will any of us live to see one?
|A TransMilenio bus in La Candelaria. A good deal, despite its problems?|
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours