PRESIDENT Michelle Bachelet of Chile joined Transport Minister Sergio Espejo and Santiago Metro President Blas Tomic on January 25 to mark the start of work on a 14·2 km extension of Line 5 from Quinta Normal to Plaza de Maipú.

Running for 10·2 km in tunnel and 4 km on viaduct to serve 11 stations, the extension is expected to cost US$670m. It is projected to generate 50 million passenger-journeys a year, in addition to the rise from 340 million to 717 million expected from the implementation on February 10 of the Transantiago programme to create an integrated public transport network with smart card ticketing (RG 10.06 p645).

The 3·6 km extension of Line 2 from Einstein to Vespucio Norte opened on December 21 is expected to generate an 27·7 million trips a year. To meet growing demand on Line 1, three 7-car and eight 8-car NS-04 trainsets are to be delivered by October at a cost of $150m.