|Transit type||Rapid transit|
|Number of lines||1|
|Number of stations||20|
|Annual ridership||17.2 million (2011)|
|Began operation||November 2005|
|System length||43 km (27 mi)|
|Track gauge||5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm)
Metro Valparaíso (also called "Merval") is the metro system serving the urban conglomeration of Gran Valparaíso, Chile. It consists of one line, 43 kilometres (27 mi) long, serving 20 stations, and connecting the cities of Valparaíso, Viña del Mar, Quilpué, Villa Alemana and Limache (this last one, outside of the Valparaíso conurbation). It is administered by the company Metro Regional de Valparaíso S.A., a subsidiary of the Chilean state-owned train company Empresa de los Ferrocarriles del Estado. It was inaugurated on November 23, 2005 and began operations the following day. The Valparaíso Metro carried 17.2 million passengers in 2011. Together with the much bigger Santiago Metro, it makes up one of the only two subway systems in Chile.
Valparaíso had an interurban passenger train system since the 19th century, but it could not be called a metro due to infrequent train service and a number of other shortcomings. In 1999 construction began on the current system, tearing down the old stations and building new ones with an homologous design shared between them. In Viña del Mar, a tunnel more than 5 kilometers in length was constructed. The new trains specially made for the new system arrived in Chile February 22, 2005 and the old system was decommissioned on June 30 of the same year.
Between the stations of Puerto and Recreo, the train runs at street level, bordering the coast, parallel to Errázuriz and España Avenues. Then the trains descend into a tunnel below Viana and Álvarez Avenues, and four stations in this sector are underground. The train exits the underground in the industrial sector of El Salto, and the train continues along a winding path to the inner metropolitan area.
Fleet and operations
Services operate daily between 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 on the line at 6-minute frequency. Services covering the whole line have a 12 minute frequency, and 18 minutes in weekends and public holidays.
Ticketing and fares
Metro Valparaíso uses a smart contactless card as unique payment method. Its price as of September 2010 is Ch$1.200 (USD 2,40) and its sold in all of the stations. The card needs to be scanned both entering and leaving the stations, since there are different fares depending on the length of the journey and the time of day it takes place. There are 5 Zones and 3 time-of-day fares. Tickets go from Ch$204 (USD 0,40) in low-usage hours within Zone 1, to Ch$716 (USD 1,50) in rush-hour travelling through the 5 current fare zones, that is, from Valparaíso to Limache. Entering and leaving the same station will result in charging the highest fare.
There are also available concession cards for students, senior citizens, and disabled or handicapped people. Children below one metre height travel for free.
Customer service and information office is located in Viña del Mar station.
- "Red - Metro Valparaíso" [Network - Metro Valparaíso] (in Spanish). Metro Valparaíso. Retrieved 2013-09-20.
- "Viajes en tren crecen a cifra récord y EFE afina inversiones para duplicar pasajeros a 2016" [Trips on metro train grow to number record and EFE sharpens investments to double passengers by 2016] (in Spanish). Plataforma Urbana (Plataforma Networks). February 27, 2012. Retrieved 2013-09-20.
- "Historia Metro Valparaíso - El servicio ferroviario del siglo XXI" [History Valparaíso Metro - The railway service of the 21st Century] (in Spanish). Metro Valparaíso. Retrieved 2013-09-20.
- "Valparaíso Metro". UrbanRail.net.
- Valparaíso Metro Official site (Spanish)