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New train line to run from Zapopan to Tlaquepaque

April 8, 2013

Although it has yet to be officially confirmed, several local and state officials have said the new line of Guadalajara’s light-rail network will run diagonally from Zapopan through to Tlaquepaque.

Instead of extending the existing subway line to the municipality of Tlajomulco as previously envisaged, the new line will link the northwest with the southeast of the city, Pablo Suarez Coello, the head of railways in the state Transport Department (SCT), told Spanish-language daily Mural.

“We know that it will go from Zapopan to Tlaquepaque and will pass through the city center,” said Guadalajara Mayor Ramiro Hernandez, although he added that this has yet to be confirmed by the state and federal authorities behind the project.

“I prefer to wait until there is an official statement from the state government,” said Zapopan Mayor Hector Robles, adding that he would be “very happy” if the plans are confirmed.

According to Suarez, the new line would be 21 kilometers long with 18 stations. The five stations closest to Guadalajara’s historic city center would be underground, while the other 13 would be at or above street level. Juan Angel Demerutis Arenas, Zapopan’s director of urban development, said that the stations in his municipality would be located at Avila Camacho and Patria, Cabecera Municipal, Mercado del Mar, and the Periferico beltway and Arco del Triunfo, but he disputed Suarez’s claim that the line would run as far as Testitan.

Tlajomulco Mayor Ismael del Toro said that a final decision has yet to be made and insisted that the cheapest and most viable option would be for the new line to run from Guadalajara to his municipality.

The cost of the line from Zapopan to Tlaquepaque has not been revealed, but a similar plan proposed by the Guadalajara government in November 2010 estimated costs of approximately 10 billion dollars, some four billion more than the line to Tlajomulco would cost.

“We will have the last word in the metropolitan council,” del Toro said, claiming that the plans must be approved by all of the municipalities involved. But the Guadalajara mayor denied this, suggesting that the Jalisco and federal governments will have the final say.

Del Toro represents the leftist Citizen’s Movement and is unlikely to hold much sway in the decision-making process, as the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) holds power in Guadalajara, Tlaquepaque and Zapopan, as well as controlling Jalisco and the federal government.

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