Dominican Republic
 
Santiago de los Caballeros
Santo Domingo


Santo Domingo 

Full Metro

On February 27, 2008, the day of Dominican Independence, the Santo Domingo metro opened with free rides to its first passengers. After years of controversy and accusations of theft and mismanagement, the A Train has come to Santo Domingo.

The system's second line opened in December 2012. The 22 km subway is completely underground. An 11.5 km extension to this second line has also been announced, with a prospective opening date in 2016.

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No one knows what happened to the light rail system that was expected to open in 2000 in this tiny bastion of democracy. On February 12, 1999, the Dominican government announced the start of construction on the new Santo Domingo Metro Light Rail System. A copy of the article can be found
here. Expected bidding on the actual light rail vehicles was to take place in June, 1999. Since then, a plan for a full-fledged metro rose it's head but many were  skepical.

According to
one source, "The Dominican government signed an agreement with the French Development Agency for the financing of US$40 million of the total US$150 million cost of a tramway in Santo Domingo. The agency will also assist the Dominican state in securing an additional US$40 million from French private investors and a French pool of banks for the project, for a total of 60% of the system' s cost.  The tramway will run from Kilometer 9 of the Duarte Highway to the Sánchez Bridge (Puente de la 17), passing along John F. Kennedy Avenue, 27 de Febrero, on to the Padre Castellanos Street. on the mid-eastern side of the city. A second South-North tramway is planned for the Máximo Gómez Avenue. The first tramway would be completed by August 2000, the month when the Fernández administration ends."



The little circle is Spanish for 'Start drilling here."

If the line had been built, it would have been the first light rail system in the Caribbean. This dubious honor, even with today's present Line 1, was snatched by nearby Puerto Rico, which opened its own wannabe clone of the New York City subway system.

So how does a tiny republic with a pension for sudden utility outages and neighbor to the poorest country in the world come to build and run a subway system? Much of the credit goes to Dominican born President Leonel Fernandez who grew up in New York City. While some speculate that having the name Leonel brought a train obsession to the country's leader from birth, most agree that his experience in seeing what the subway did for New York led to his inspiration to foster the building of a network for his native Santo Domingo. This former New York straphanger turned Caribbean  politician ignored the mounds of criticism and cut red tape wherever he found it in order to bring about the operation of a14.5 km, 16 station (10 underground, 5 elevated and one at grade) metro.

According to Wikipedia, 5 more lines are planned.

Due to the Blessing of the Subway by Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodriguez (LightRail:4.16 "Do not forsake thy metro. Look away from Bus Rapid Transit for it deceives; it's rail-like features only mock the true rail that Christ our Lord hath given us."), it is expected that the line will be baptized in March and, in order to patronize the Jewish population, Bar-Mitzvahed in about 13 years.

The government's
official transit website in Spanish
Myspace fan page
Map and Master Plan


 


Primeros en probar el Metro de Santo Domingo remolacha.net
Uploaded by paginafea
This is what I call a bunch of really cool human beings.  I love the guy yelling "Andele!" in the background.

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Who says metros aren't interested in social networking? Our favorite Carribean subway has it's own Facebook page. The new Farmville metro station is set to open soon!