Light-rail loop in Cancun will link with Mayan Train

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador speaks next to local authorities during the laying of the first stone of the "Tren Maya" in El Ideal, Quintana Roo on June 1, 2020. Photo: Elizabeh Ruiz / AFP via Getty Images

Federal and Quintana Roo governments have collaborated on a plan to build an above-ground light-rail project in Cancun and then linking it to the massive Mayan Train project.

The rail line would be a 47-kilometer / 29-mile circuit that passes through the hotel zone, and also serve as an economic stimulus.

The plan will be included in the 2021 budget package, although the exact amount to be budgeted was not reported.

If approved, construction will begin in the third quarter of 2021 and begin to operate in the third quarter of 2022.

The train will be built in two stages, first linking Kukulkán Boulevard and Tulum Avenue, crossing the tourist area. Then a path that parallels Luis Donaldo Colosio Boulevard would be constructed.

Its terminal would be in the vicinity of the airport, and immediately useful for travelers.

El Universal reported that the first phase will consist of 33 elevated kilometers in the hotel zone, leading to the Cancun international airport.

The light rail project includes 29 station stops and two terminals, a workshop and garage in the airport area, where it will join the Mayan Train to meet a possible demand of 66,800 daily passengers.

Responsibility for the project will fall on the Railway Transport Regulatory Agency (ARTF), attached to the Ministry of Communications and Transport (SCT), and the Strategic Projects Agency of the State of Quintana Roo.

The possibility of a “differentiated” fare for locals, workers and tourists is being studied.

The operation and maintenance of the light rail line will be concessioned for 30 years through a public-private-state partnership scheme. To date, the project is in the pre-investment stage.

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