In a ceremony headed by the President of the Republic, Luis Abinader, the details of the Integrated Transportation System of Santo Domingo (SIT-SD) were announced, which includes the physical, technological and fare integration of different modes of mass transportation.
These include the Santo Domingo Tramway, Line 3 of the cable car which will operate in West Santo Domingo, the Santo Domingo Metropolitan Train, the San Cristobal Train and the incorporation of urban interchanges, as well as the construction of 3 urban bus terminals.
The Integrated Transportation System of Santo Domingo (SIT-SD) responds to the problems of saturation and congestion of mobility in the city by incorporating new modes of transportation, with the objective of incorporating more than one million users to public transportation and reducing the traffic of private vehicles on the avenues.
During his speech, the President informed that this is an investment of close to 3.2 billion dollars in the mass transportation system of Santo Domingo, where the public sector will contribute around 2 billion dollars that have been identified in funds selected for the multi-year budget. “This will represent the most important investment made in the history of the Dominican Republic and in the entire Caribbean region in terms of mobility, building a modern, transparent and participatory model.”
“The connection of the 5 entrances to Santo Domingo with an efficient, fast and accessible public transportation system will allow us to bring the best transportation system to those most in need. The citizens of Santo Domingo East, Santo Domingo North, Santo Domingo West, Los Alcarrizos, San Cristobal, Bajos de Haina, Guerra and Boca Chica, will no longer have to wait in long traffic jams of more than 2 hours to access the National District. Nearly 3,500,000 trips that are made daily in the city will be able to travel by public transportation, without the need for individual transportation, saving time and money for each citizen”, reaffirmed the president during the activity.
“This great work will represent the greatest effort for social integration, where building an inclusive and universal mobility system, which integrates all social classes in a common space for the benefit of the environment and improving the quality of life of our citizens”.
Joel Santos, Minister of the Presidency, referred to the strategic aspects behind the SIT-SD, highlighting the sustainability by improving the quality of life of citizens and lowering the cost of the basic basket of goods, the environmental aspect in the reduction of carbon emissions, land use planning through the improvements that the project represents in traffic, as well as collective mobility and public safety.
“People have been moving to what used to be known as the periphery, but in reality they are already large urban centers that have been concentrating in Santo Domingo West, Santo Domingo East, Santo Domingo North and San Cristobal, referring mainly to Greater Santo Domingo. Therefore, we have to make the connections from the road point of view; that is, from the point of view of public transportation, to connect these centers with the National District, because the movement towards the center of the city is going to grow as people continue to move in search of improving their living conditions, from the point of view of housing and from, obviously, other characteristics”, emphasized the Minister of the Presidency.
Jhael Isa, general director of the Trust for the Development of the Mass Transportation System of the Dominican Republic (FITRAM), explained that the mobile population of Santo Domingo represents 3,527,000 users, of which only 436,000 use Metro Teleférico and OMSA, with an average travel time of 1 hour and 30 minutes and an average travel cost of between 55 and 100 pesos.
Isa highlighted that only the inter-urban transportation coming from the different provinces of the country adds to the mobility in Santo Domingo around 75,260 passengers per day entering the city through four main routes: Cibao Central with 18,942 passengers, South with 24,008 passengers, North with 12,616 passengers and East with 19,694 passengers per day.
“The incorporation of the new transportation systems that we propose through the SIT-SD will contribute 51 additional kilometers to the already existing systems, achieving a total of 70 kilometers that will run the entire system.”
Characteristics of the new SIT-SD systems
Line 3 of the Santo Domingo Cable Car will be built in West Santo Domingo and will connect kilometer 9 of the Duarte Highway with the marginalized sectors of Buenos Aires de Herrera, “Pintura” on 27 de Febrero, Ensanche Altagracia, El Café de Herrera, the Sanchez highway and the port of Haina. It will have an investment of close to US$250 million. It will have a capacity of 4,000 to 6,000 passengers per hour.
The Santo Domingo Metropolitan Train is a public-private alliance initiative, originated by the Dominican State to connect in the first phase the International Airport of the Americas with the Olympic Center, and in a second phase continuing along 27 de Febrero Avenue to Pintura and the 27 de Febrero extension in West Santo Domingo. It represents an investment of US$2 billion, of which the Dominican Government will contribute US$800 million and US$1.2 billion will come from the private sector through the PPP mechanism.
The Santo Domingo Metropolitan Train is the most transformative project that the city of Santo Domingo will see and will connect more than 30 sectors throughout the metropolitan axis, benefiting more than 300,000 users and will have a capacity to transport 20,000 to 30,000 passengers per hour.
The Santo Domingo Tramway will be a means of passenger transportation that runs on rails and over a surface in urban areas. It will have a capacity to transport between 7,000 to 10,000 people per hour and will travel from the Sanchez Highway in Haina to connect with the Santo Domingo West Cable Car and cross the entire Independencia Avenue, as well as the entire Winston Churchill Avenue, integrated with Line 1 and 2 of the Santo Domingo Metro.
This project includes a tunnel interchange on Winston Churchill Avenue for the passage of the tramway and traffic lanes, which will considerably reduce traffic congestion in the center of the city. It will have an investment of US$300 million and will have a capacity to transport 7,000 to 10,000 people per hour.
The San Cristóbal Train is projected to start operating by the end of 2025, once the corresponding studies have been completed. The objective of this system is to complete the connection of the province of San Cristóbal through the 6 de Noviembre highway. It will be 18 kilometers long and will have an estimated investment of US$650 million.
Benefits of the SIT-SD
Among the benefits mentioned that this system will have for the inhabitants of the capital, the fact that it will increase the number of public transportation users to 1,529,000 passengers per day stands out. In addition, it will mean time savings per trip for citizens from an hour and a half to 30 minutes, which implies a 70% reduction of their time.
“By using the integrated transportation fare, the projected savings is close to 50% of the money currently invested by Dominican families in transportation expenses from their household budget,” Isa emphasized.
Another important element is the reduction of private vehicular traffic to 1,481,340 vehicles compared to the 3,091,000 that currently circulate. This will imply a reduction in road congestion from 8 km/hr to 15 km/hr, equivalent to 50% less. To this we must add the reduction of CO2 emissions by 50%, thus contributing to the country’s commitments as a signatory of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).