Sunday, July 16, 2006

Number 4 to the rescue - eventually 

As had been mentioned before President Chavez was to open the new number 4 subway line in Caracas today. However, due to scheduling conflicts it had to be postponed. The new number 4 line cost 800 million dollars to build and will be used by an estimated 400,000 people daily. To show why this new subway line is so vital take a look at a map of the Caracas Metro system:

There are three lines currently in use, the orange number 1 line, the green number 2 line, and the dark blue number 3 line. The number 1 line which transverses Caracas from East to West is far and away the busiet line carrying over a million passengers daily. Although service is frequent the trains are very crowded, sometimes to the point that it is impossible to get on and quite uncomfortable once inside. The worst crowding is between El Capitolio where it intersects with the number 2 line and the Plaza Venezuela station where it intersects with the number 3 line.

To relieve this congestion the Chavez government has built the number 4 line which will run parrallel to the number 1 line between lines 2 adn 3. It is shown on the map as the dark pink line and has stations such as Teatros, Nuevo Circo, and Parque Central. This line should do much to relieve the congestion on line 1.

By the way, while we are on the subject of the subway system note the light blue line below extending down from the number 3 subway line. That is the extension to the number 3 line which is to partially open later this year, with service only between El Valle and La Rinconada but no intermediate stops. The intermediate stations are to open in late 2007 or early 2008. At some point the eastern half of the number 4 line should be built, shown as light pink on the map, but construction of it has yet to begin and I am not sure a date is even set for it.

Here are some pictures from the #4 line. Sorry they are a couple of months old when it was still under construction. Hopefully soon we will have pictures of the gleaming new subway line full of happy, or at least happier, passengers.


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