By Shalina Chatlani, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The first monorail in São Paulo, the Linha-15 Prata (Silver-15 Line), opens commercially to the public today after a year of testing and several delays in building. The train system, located in São Paulo connecting Ipiranga and Cidade Tiradentes, will open part of the final stretch with ticket prices of R$3.50.
The monorail starts operations on Monday, August 10th running between seven in the morning until seven in the evening. Currently, the trains will only use two out of the eighteen station that were initially planned for the line. The first section to open will stretch 2.9 km in between stations Oratory and Vila Prudente, which connects with the Metro’s green line.
Testing for the train began on August 30, 2014, when it was opened for free on the weekends between ten in the morning and three in the afternoon. When the train system is fully complete and operational, Line 15 will be able to transport 500,000 people daily over a distance of track that spans 26.6 kilometers.
Before the launch, construction on the train system faced a series of delays and setbacks. Initially in 2009, then governor Jose Serrá (PSDB) said that the train would be fully expanded to Cidade Tiradentes by 2012. Later in July 2013, Governor Geraldo Alckmin (PSDB) promised that the first section of the train would be ready for January 2014.
When the deadline arrived, however, the opening was further postponed to March and finally began testing in August last year. Moreover, on June 29, 2014, four unidentified persons attempted to blow up a portion of the monorail, but ultimately failed.
In March of this year, the State Secretary of Transport Clodoaldo Pelissioni, said that construction on the next three stations of the line would begin in April and will be completed in fifteen months.
Correction: The article has been corrected since it was originally published on August 10th to clarify the monorail is not the first in Brazil, but the first in São Paulo.