|Native name||Metro Valparaíso|
|Locale||Gran Valparaíso, Chile|
|Transit type||Rapid transit/light rail|
|Number of lines||1|
|Number of stations||20|
|Annual ridership||20.2 million (2013)|
|Began operation||November 24, 2005|
|Character||Mostly at-grade, with a subway section|
|System length||43 km (27 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)
The Valparaíso Metro (Spanish: Metro Valparaíso, also called "Merval") is the rapid transit light rail system serving the urban conglomeration of Gran Valparaíso, Chile. It consists of one line, 43 kilometres (27 mi) long, serving 20 stations, connecting the cities of Valparaíso, Viña del Mar, Quilpué, Villa Alemana, and Limache (outside the Valparaíso conurbation).
It is administered by Metro Regional de Valparaíso S.A., a subsidiary of the Chilean state-owned train company Empresa de los Ferrocarriles del Estado. The Valparaíso Metro began with the conversion of an interurban rail line into more rapid transit-like service in 2005 – the renovated line was inaugurated on November 23, 2005 and began rapid transit operations the following day. The Valparaíso Metro carried 20.21 million passengers in 2013.
Together with the much bigger Santiago Metro, it is one of the only two subway systems in Chile (the Valparaíso Metro has a 5-kilometre (3.1 mi) underground stretch from Miramar through Chorrillos stations in Viña del Mar), "but cannot be classified as a full metro due to the existence of various level crossings and the long distances between stations on the eastern section of the line" according to Robert Schwandl of UrbanRail.net. As a result of the presence of at-grade level crossings, the Valparaíso Metro is most analogous to a light rail system.
Valparaíso had an interurban passenger train system since the 19th century, but it could not be considered a rapid transit system due to infrequent service and other operational shortcomings. In 1999 construction began on the current system, tearing down the old interurban stations and building new ones with an homologous design. In Viña del Mar, a tunnel over 5-kilometre (3.1 mi) long was constructed. New trains arrived in Chile on February 22, 2005 and the old system was decommissioned on June 30 that year, in favor of the new Valparaíso Metro rapid transit system on the line.
Between Puerto and Recreo the line runs at street level, bordering the coast, parallel to Errázuriz and España Avenues. It descends into tunnel below Viana and Álvarez Avenues, with four underground stations. The line leaves the tunnel at the industrial area of El Salto, and continues along a winding path to the inner metropolitan area.
Fleet and operations
Services operate 06:30-22:30 on weekdays; 07:30-22.30 on Saturday, and 08:00-22:15 on Sunday and public holidays. Services between Puerto and Sargento Aldea are most frequent, at 6-minute frequencies, with 15-minute frequencies elsewhere, 18 minutes on weekends and public holidays.
Ticketing and fares
Metro Valparaíso uses a smart contactless card, costing CLP$1,200 (US$ 2.40) in September 2010 and sold at all stations. It is scanned both entering and leaving stations, since fares depend on the length of the journey and the time of day. There are five Zones and three time-of-day fares. Tickets cost from CLP$204 (US$ 0.40) in low-usage hours within Zone 1 to CLP$716 (US$ 1.50) in rush-hour travelling through five zones, e.g. from Valparaíso to Limache. Entering and leaving the same station results in charging the highest fare.
There are concession cards for students, senior citizens, and disabled or handicapped people. Children below one metre in height travel for free.
A customer service and information office is in Viña del Mar station.
- "XIX Memoria Anual 2013" [2013 Annual Report] (pdf) (in Spanish). Metro Valparaíso S.A. p. 16. Retrieved 2014-07-26.
- "XIX Memoria Anual 2013" [2013 Annual Report] (pdf) (in Spanish). Metro Valparaíso S.A. p. 22. Retrieved 2014-07-26.
- "Conócenos - Historia - El Servicio Ferroviario del siglo XXI" [About Us - History - The Railway Service of the 21st century] (in Spanish). Metro Valparaíso. Retrieved 2014-07-25.
- Schwandl, Robert. "Valparaíso". UrbanRail.net. Retrieved 2014-07-25.
- "Viaje en Metro - Frecuencia" [Metro Travel - Frequency] (in Spanish). Metro Valparaíso. Retrieved 2014-07-25.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Valparaíso Metro.|
- Valparaíso Metro Official site (Spanish)