The Iztapalapa Elevated Trolleybus suffers a new delay, postponing its inauguration for the fifth time. The key transportation infrastructure work of the Mexico City government will begin operating in September of this year instead.
The inauguration of the Iztapalapa Elevated Trolleybus, which was scheduled for July 2022, was postponed for the fifth time due to pandemic-related delays and supply chain interruptions. Currently, the work is 97 percent complete. Two more months will be needed for its completion.
The first opening date was set for March 2021, but because of a reduced number of construction personnel on site during the pandemic the date was pushed back to December 2021. At the end of 2021, a lack of supplies prevented the trolleybus from being completed. Therefore, the Mexico City government postponed the date to May 2022, when a 92 percent progress was recorded. Attempts to complete the work in June and July were similarly unsuccessful.
The trolleybus' sections 2 and 3 are finished, as the delays occur in section 1, where work is being carried out at a slower pace because it only takes place at night.
"We are only allowed to work four hours above the Metro’s maneuvering area, the Metro parking area, which limits our execution times to 4 hours a day," commented Jesús Esteva Medina, Minister of Works and Services of Mexico City.
The Iztapalapa Elevated Trolleybus is one of the great mobility undertakings of Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum's administration, as it seeks to address a neglected area in the city, marking the first mass transportation system for the capital’s eastern region.
"We are building a second floor, not for cars, but public transportation: 8km of the second floor where only trolleybuses are traveling and that passes through Iztapalapa, the most populated municipality in our country," Sheinbaum said.
The Elevated Trolleybus is 7.4km long, representing almost 100,000m2 of construction surface along which 11 stations are located: nine intermediate stations and two terminals. The route will feature around 100 trolleybuses and will connect with Line 2 of the Cablebus and with the Metro’s Line 8. It will also include connections with Santa Martha Acatitla and Mixcoac.
The Trolleybus will benefit around 130,000 inhabitants and is expected to mobilize more than 76,000 citizens per day with a 30-minute trip. The project had an investment of MX$3 billion (US$147.2 million). At the beginning of the work, the budget was set at MX$2.39 billion (US$117.2 million). However, inflation for key materials such as steel drove up the costs.
The Trolleybus will replace approximately 200 microbuses currently running between Ermita and Iztapalapa. Sheinbaum clarified that she signed an agreement with the microbus drivers, making them a part of the Trolleybus operation.