The Málaga Metro will become operational on 30 July.The last Wednesday of the current month was the date finally chosen by the Andalusian Government to inaugurate Málaga’s new public transport system, after several weeks in which Government officials avoided specifying the exact inauguration date, as there were still several pending issues.
The Councillor for Development of the Andalusia Autonomous Community Government, Elena Cortés, finally announced the official inauguration date of Málaga’s Metro (underground railway) at an event where, accompanied by the city’s mayor, Francisco de la Torre, she presented the Metro’s website -active as of this Friday-, the customer care office and the Metro workers’ uniforms. The Metro’s information telephone line will be 902112233.
The customer care office will be located at El Perchel, an intermodal passenger transport interchange station and terminus of lines 1 and 2, located next to María Zambrano train station. The new website will shortly include other tools such as lost property forms or applications for accessing it from all types of mobile devices.
The new website, www.metromalaga.es, has the maps of lines 1 and 2, timetables, types of tickets and fares, customer care forms, passenger regulations, news and a route planner where travellers can introduce their itinerary and calculate the time required for the journey.
With 12 kilometres distributed over two lines and 17 stations, the new and much-awaited infrastructure will become operational two and a half years after the first date announced by Enrique Salvo, Director of Málaga Metro at the time: 11 November 2011, at 11:00 am.
As yet there are no estimates as to the number of travellers that will inaugurate the new facilities on 30 July, but the Councillor announced that 50,000 free travel cards will be distributed so that all the city’s inhabitants who wish can discover the new suburban railway.
The sections that will become operational will interconnect the Palacio de Deportes José María Martín Carpena sports centre area and Teatinos district (where the university is located), crossing the El Perchel area.
When the construction work that is still in progress has been completed, Line 1 will run between Atarazanas Station (Alameda Principal on the corner with Calle Torregorda) and Andalucía Tech Station (located in the future extension of Bulevard Louis Pasteur) and will have 13 stations distributed over 8.8 kilometres.
Upon completion of the aforementioned construction work, Line 2 will start at Atarazanas Station and end at Palacio Martín Carpena Station, and will have nine stations (three of which intersecting Line 2) distributed over 5.7 kilometres.
Callejones del Perchel
The Councillor for Development and Housing, Elena Cortés, also assured that solutions are being sought for the Callejones del Perchel metro section, for which as yet there is no completion date and an agreement has not yet been reached relative to costs with the company responsible for its construction. Cortes pointed out that meetings are being held with the residents of the area “with the aim of expediting the construction work on that section.”
“A solution must be found as soon as possible,” she assured, indicating that the neighbours were informed of the status of the works two weeks ago. The Councillor said that solutions are being sought “on behalf of the public interest.”
According to Cortés, the current sticking point is reaching an agreement with the company awarded the construction work in that section. “Public money must be treated like pure gold, because it comes from the pockets of our taxpayers, the social majority,” she underlined.
The company executing the metro construction work between El Perchel and Guadalmedina, the Ortiz Group, already lowered the initial amount of EUR 15 million claimed from the Andalusia Autonomous Community Government. But the work remains at a standstill when only a third street remains to be cleared of traffic and pedestrianised -the main street was cleared of traffic more than a year ago-, due to which last week the Andalusia Autonomous Community Government announced its intention to terminate the contract if an agreement is not reached in July.
The execution of the construction work on this metro section between the railway hub and the river , initially envisaged to last 13 months, currently exceeds four years. The situation has worsened in recent months when, despite the crisis, the Andalusia Autonomous Community Government had a budgetary availability of up to EUR 5 million to pay for the finishing work on the suburban railway, but the company awarded the contract for the construction of the El Perchel section only delivered certifications totalling EUR 80.000.