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Costa Rica Badly Needs A Modern Urban Train, Business Sector Says

A modern urban train in the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM) would be an important step to improve the quality of life, as well as productivity, of thousands of workers who lose several hours a day to move from one place to another.

The country is urged on efficient public transport, to improve the quality of life and productivity, said Elias Soley, president of AmCham. Esteban Monge/La República

This is the consensus of the leaders of several business chambers, consulted by La Republica on the subject.

The problem is compounded in the case parents, losing time to be with their children, and often have to pay someone to take care of them while they return home.

The economic loss is high in the labor-intensive sectors, such as call centers; It is about millions of hours wasted per year in traffic at the GAM, according to an analysis of the newspaper.

“Having an urban train would improve people’s productivity and quality of life,” said Yolanda Fernandez, president of the Chamber of Commerce.

The coordination of the train with an efficient bus system would be vital for urban transport to function at its maximum level, is another consideration of the business sector.

In Costa Rica unlike in North America, managers of North American companies operating in the country have found, people don’t move to be close to their jobs. That is, preferring to remain in place, close to family and friends, traveling distances to and from work each day.

The current urban train, that runs on limited hours during weekday mornings and afternoons, is mixed bag of old locomotives and cars and used equipment retired in other countries, on an old rail system that counts with little to no safety systems at intersections with vehicles. Accidents between vehicles and the urban train are constant, that results in delays in the already limited and overburdened service.