Finally, Southern America is getting more light rail tramway networks. It is finally time to show that Ecuador is able to care about the environment. Cuenca light rail tramway is now open for service! Congratulations to all there!… Fantastic News!
The Cuenca tramway in Ecuador is now finally open for limited passenger services on its entire 10.7km stretch. The service opened on the 25th of May 2020. It will stay like this until this month which is June when the regular services scheduled are said to begin.
Wuhan Virus limits the Service in Ecuador on its first day of service
This is the very first tramway in Ecuador. Without the Wuhan virus, the service would be much more fun to take. But they have managed to keep up a limited trial service that lasts between 06.00 and 20.00.
Taking a tram will be free of charge for the first two months. So no one needs to pay before August 2020, which is a nice gift to the citizens of Cuenca and the whole Wuhan virus situation that is affecting life everywhere, I think.
The capacity of each of the eight trams in service, for now, is being limited to 30% of the maximum capacity that it got, with staff supervising social distancing. Also, it seems as if the public transportation company wants people to wear masks.
Let’s hope that this virus will stop to be threatened soon so that life can resume.
Cuenca tramway with a duo tramway type of service
Let’s give you all of the most important facts about Cuenca tramway in Equador.
- The tramway line is 10.7km
- 27 stops are built with 14 stops located on separate locations
- Trams uses 1435mm rails width
- 14 completely new Alstom Citadis 302
The Alstom Citadis 302 five-section trams that are running on Cuenca’s streets are 32.4m long and they are spacious 2400 mm wide. They all have air-condition and digital information about next stop information too.
Also, these trams are duo in operation. They take power from above and in the ground in parts of the inner city parts of Cuenca. Sydney in Australia is a city with a similar system, to just name one.
Tramway through Cuenca city centre
Planning for a modern tramway in the mountainous city began in 2011. It’s taken some time to get it built. Back in 2016, the project had funding and contractual problems that were solved in December 2018. Construction was restarted and now the entire network is done.
This new Cuenca tramway in Ecuador links southern-western parts of the city with the city center and northeast. The line starts at Río Tarqui in the southwest and runs through the city center to Parque Industrial with a total of 27 stops.
14 of the stops aren’t in the same place. They are placed opposite each other in the city center. Here the tramway runs on separate sections of the city that aren’t that far apart from each other.
Because of UNESCO World Heritage-listed historic city center that Cuenca city has. The public transportation company tranvia.cuenca.gob.ec had to build a Vibration limiting floating slab track and a ground-level power supply for catenary-free operation is used in the center.
It is awesome to see how silent tramways can be. Visiting some of the newest tramway networks in the world can give such an awesome silent tramway ride experience. This can be experienced in towns such as Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Bergen, and Bremen to name a few really shows how nice it can be to have tramways running through the city center.
Future ridership will increase a lot!
The entire journey from one side to the other takes 35 min. When the full service will be running after all of the Wuhan virus restrictions are gone. This service will have a 6 min headways in the peaks and 10 min headways during the rest of the day.
Future ridership is estimated to reach 120 000 passengers per day, but my hopes are that this service will have the same effect as the light rail tramway service in Aarhus, Denmark had after 6 months of service.
Metrotenerife is the company that provided pre-operation technical assistance and will provide support for the first three years of commercial operation. In the picture above I can see their influence in the building of this tramway network. I’ve seen that island platform station construction somewhere. I wonder where?
This is a fantastic move made by Metrotenerife. They are in my view one of the best tramway companies in the world that I have spoken to, tested, and covered a lot. Their knowledge of running tramway is new but they certainly know how to run a great tramway service.
I also want to congratulate you and don’t stop now. Let other parts of the city also get great tramway service. Cuenca as any other city at its size should have a tramway service a long time ago. It is better late than never. This is fantastic news for the citizens of Cuenca.