Claudia Dobles is more than just the wife of President Carlos Alvarado and the First Lady, she is also the force to bring the metro (subway) to Costa Rica.

Architect Claudia Dobles (blue striped shirt) met last Thursday with officials of the Panama Metro, to learn of their experiences with the development of a mass transit system. Photo Office the First Lady

To that end, the First Lady is studying the Panama experience and in three months will announce the first step in bringing the fast train to the country.

First lady studies Panama subway and announces that in three months she will take the first step with fast train in costa rica

The architect has already met with the developers of the metro in Medellin and mass transport of Bogota, both cities in Colombia with a combined population of three times that of Costa Rica. Last Thursday Dobles met with officials of the Panama Metro.

The experiences of the other Latin American countries in the construction of mass rapid transit will be part of the planning for the Tren Rápido de Pasajeros (TRP)- Rapid Passenger Train.

Dobles explained that the objective of the meetings is to take note of good practices and lessons learned in those countries, which can serve as a reference for the construction project of the new train here at home.

The First Lady is learning about the bidding processes they had, such as the timing and cost estimates. “How was the bidding process that they had … we were talking about what their time (schedule) were, if they managed to stick to the times or not, if they did not manage their times, what were the delays and why, cost estimates and understanding within those costs, what they were included, to see what could be in some way comparable or not with ours,” explained Dobles.

The first lady reported that the feasibility stage of the TRP project is expected to be awarded within three months, with an eye by Casa Presidencial to proceed to the construction bidding process by February next year.

According to Dobles, it is most likely that a concession model will be used.

The goal of the government of Carlos Alvarado is that, at the end of his term, the first stage of the TRP is awarded and construction is in progress. That phase will cost US$600 million, while the complete investment amounts to US$1.3 billion dollars.

The Instituto Costarricense de Ferrocarriles (INCOFER), the Autoridad Reguladora de los Servicios Públicos (ARESEP), the Ministerio de Hacienda (Finance), the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes (MOPT), the Ministerio de Planificación (Planning), led by the Dobles office are involved in the negotiations and members of civil society also offered advice.

Doubles said her team is preparing a project schedule with more exact dates, which will be made public soon.

Source (in Spanish): La Nacion