Lima's Metro - Tren Electrico

Lima's Metro - Tren Electrico Lima's Metro - Tren Electrico
A new mass transport system for Lima

Lima's Metro - Tren Electrico
Lima's Metro - Tren Electrico

While other major cities in Latin America operate more or less impressive subways or other public mass transportation systems, Lima with its chaotic privately owned "bus system" stood apart for many years. But since 2012 Peru's capital finally has an eagerly-awaited Metro. Until now it's only one line (ok only half a route with 16 stations, the other half is still under construction), but a beginning is made. 

After more than 25 years Lima finally has its Metro ....

Already in the 1980s during the first presidency of Alan Garcia Lima's Metro was planned and the first route started to build. The Urban Train was supposed to link Lima's southern districts with the city center using high speed trains that run on overpasses. But due to the economic collapse of the country, works were paralyzed with only 9.2 km and seven stations finished. The project lay idle for years.

With Alan Garcia returning to power for a second term still supporting the idea of a Metro for Lima, in 2010 works on the Tren Electrico finally restarted. Line 1 (green), connecting in the first phase Villa El Salvador, San Juan de Miraflores, Surco, San Borja and La Victoria with the city center, was officially inaugurated in July 2011 by outgoing President Alan Garcia, but operations only started in January 2012.

Line 1 operates above ground, mainly on elevated tracks suppossed to withstand a 9.0 magnitude earthquake. Currently used trains are still from the 1980s, but have been upgraded and are absolutely fine. The new cars are scheduled for delivery in late 2012. Being used to travelling through Lima's congested streets by car, taxi or micro, riding the new electric train feels like paradise: the stations are modern, the staff is helpful and friendly, trains not only operate on a schedule but are as well on time (for Lima standards that's exceptional) and a trip that before took an hour or more with a bus or taxi now can be made in less than 30 minutes.  Only small setback: trains can be really packed, especially during rush hour.

How to use Lima's Metro

Using Lima's Metro is really simple. It starts (or ends) in Villa El Salvador and runs along Av. Separadora Industrial, Av. La Union, Av. Pachacutec, Av. Los Heroes, Av. Tomas Marsano, Av. Aviacion to Av. Grau in the city center. All stations along the route from Villa El Salvador to the center here. Trains operate from 06.00 am to 10.00 pm and arrive every 15 to 20 minutes. The exact schedule for each station can be found under this external link. You pay for your ride with a rechargeable, electronic card. The so called "tarjeta" can be purchased for S/. 5 (make sure you have an ID on you) and recharged at every station. At the moment the ticket price is S/. 1.50 for adults no matter how many stations you go. Students pay half, but need to apply for a "Tarjeta Medio Pasaje" with an ID and student card (inlcuding a copy of both!) to enjoy the lower price.

Outlook

Construction for the second part of Line 1 started in April 2012 and is scheduled to be completed by 2014. An expansion of the Metro network is planned, but like usual in Lima and Peru too many people with too many different interests are involved. As consequence plans are thrown into disarray or substantially changed on a regular basis. At the moment the whole project consists of 4 additional routes that one day should link Ate with Callao (Line 2, yellow), Surco with Comas (Line 3, blue), La Molina with the International Airport Jorge Chavez in Callao (Line 4. red) and Chorrillos with Miraflores (Line 5, rose). Part of the network should run on overpasses, another part on street level and another one even underground. When and if the project is really completed is uncertain. But let's see and hope the best.

General Info

Street: Main Office: Av. Aviacion 2494
District: San Borja
City: Lima
Region: Lima
Phone: (+511) 224-2444
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