San Juan Unveils Plan for “Walkable City,” Hopes for Light Rail on Isleta

» Perhaps permanently abandoning hopes for an extension of the Tren Urbano, San Juan proposes light rail program. Implementation would coincide with a massive redevelopment of the Isleta and Old San Juan.

The enormous increase in construction costs for the Tren Urbano, which opened in late 2004, likely doomed any serious short-term hope of extending the rail corridor’s reach into San Juan’s historic center. What was supposed to be a $1.25 billion rapid transit line carrying well over 100,000 riders a day somehow morphed into an exercise in under-performance, with only 40,000 daily passengers transported on a guideway that cost $2.5 billion to build, arguably making it the most expensive North American public transportation project of the early 2000s.

The 10.7-mile Tren Urbano — an automated, metro-class train system — has an extension north to Miramar on the books. But the enormous expense of building such

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  • by Yonah Freemark
  • Twitter: @yfreemark
  • yfreemark (at) thetransportpolitic (dot) com
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