San Juan kicks off first phase of a renewed, reconfigured trolley system
By The Star Staff
San Juan Mayor Miguel Romero Lugo announced the start of operations of a free mass transit system called La Línea de San Juan today.
The San Juan Line, a series of trolleys, will provide sustainable urban mobility for all residents and visitors to move efficiently around the city for free.
“Under this vision, we intend to create livable, clean, maintained, safe urban public spaces, with attractive communities and urban centers that promote among all the desire to live in and enjoy them,” Romero Lugo said. “In addition, this initiative constitutes a form of transportation for low-income people, school and university students, the elderly and visitors to our capital city.”
The La Línea de San Juan project was carried out with a total investment of $1 million in funds from the Federal Transit Administration. In addition, $500,000 will be allocated annually, according to the budget, for the maintenance and repair services of the vehicle fleet so that the units meet the highest standards and allow the city to provide a quality service. The service is divided into two phases, the first phase of which will begin today starting at 7 a.m. and running until 5 p.m. It will serve the following: Route 1: Shanghai, Playita a Luis Lloréns Torres and Santurce; Route 4: Hill Brothers, López Sicardó, Parcelas Falú and Country Club; Route 5: Condado – Old San Juan; Route 6: Caimito – Cupey; Route 6A: Caimito to Río Piedras and Route 7: Pedrín Zorrilla – Domenech – Santurce.
In the initial phase, a total of 10 trolleys will be operated by 12 drivers. The remaining four routes under phase two are projected to be integrated in August. These are:
Route 2: Las Margaritas to Santurce; Route 3: Buen Consejo, Venezuela and Río Piedras Urban Center; Route 8: Américo Miranda, Las Lomas and Domenech and Route 9: Río Piedras – Medical Center.
The mayor pointed out that “despite the importance of this service, it was interrupted for several years, after the lack of conditioning of the facilities and units, as a result of the mismanagement of resources during the past incumbency.”
“The RED Conecta, as it was called before, had not operated since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, March 2020,” he said.
For the restart of this initiative, Romero Lugo highlighted that personnel from various departments took on the task of reviewing the routes, schedules, days and service areas, for a better use of resources and to provide a high level of service to citizens.
One of the findings of the evaluation was that the routes did not connect to each other. For example, with the previous system, a resident of Caimito could only resort to visiting places in that area, he could not get to Río Piedras because there were no connections between the routes to make that viable.