Efficient and Connected: Quito’s Metro Unites Neighborhoods, Serving 400,000 Daily in Just 34 Minutes!
- Client: State-owned Metropolitan Company of Quito Metro (EPMMQ)
- Date: 2016-2023
- Location: Quito, Ecuador
- Sector: Transportation
- Subsector: Metropolitan transportation
- Invesment: 1.184 M€
With a rapidly growing population of over two and a half million citizens, the city of Quito in Ecuador was faced with a major transportation challenge. To tackle this issue head-on, the Metropolitan Company of Quito Metro (EPMMQ) developed a comprehensive Mobility Master Plan for the City of Quito for 2009-2025, which included the ambitious proposal of an Integrated Mass Transit System (SITM) that would include the first underground metro in the country, an environmentally-friendly mass transit network.
The Quito Metro project is a critical endeavor not only for the city but for the region as a whole, as it aims to enhance mobility, productivity, and the quality of life for its inhabitants. With the capacity to transport over 400,000 passengers daily, this underground network will help reduce traffic congestion and boost productivity in the city.
The construction of the Quito Metro is the most significant urban development project in Quito’s history. It consists of a 22-kilometer tunnel connecting the Quitumbe land terminal in the south to the former Mariscal Sucre airport in El Labrador to the north, including 15 stations, 18 trains with 108 cars, and an average travel time of just 34 minutes between the two endpoints
The successful execution of an infrastructure project of this magnitude demands an unwavering commitment to excellence in construction supervision, project management, and technical services that meet the highest international quality standards. Such a project also requires a wealth of experience in navigating a variety of complexities and stakeholders. That is precisely why EPMMQ entrusted Ayesa with the responsibility of overseeing the construction of the 22km subway. The metro line has been delivered by the international consortium including Acciona (public works and civil engineering), CAF (rolling stock), Bombardier (signaling) and Siemens(electrification).
Ayesa’s team brings to the table extensive international transportation experience, which enables them to anticipate technical challenges, manage and handle the flow of information, ensure the quality of materials (many of them imported), and oversee complex construction processes and intermodal connections.
The team implemented new processes, such as using tunnel boring machines in urban environments and screen construction equipment and ground improvement treatments, for the first time in Ecuador. During the tunnel excavation, Ayesa helped set a world record with an EPB (earth pressure balance machine) TBM (Tunnel Boring Machine) boring its way through 1,489 meters in just 30 days. This is a testament to Ayesa’s expertise and dedication to providing innovative solutions that break new ground.
Quito’s first metro line, 22 kilometers long, will serve 15 stations – five of which are multimodal, allowing interconnection with other public transportation in Quito – between Quitumbe in the south and El Labrador in the north, via the capital’s downtown. The total handling capacity of the line is 400,000 passengers per day. Once operational, it is estimated it will prevent emissions of more than 150,000 tons of CO2 into the environment, making it a model for sustainable urban development. The project will result in fuel savings of US 50 million annually as well as the creation of 32,700 direct and indirect Jobs.
Ayesa’s involvement in the Quito Metro project goes beyond the construction supervision role, providing other valuable services to ensure its success. The company’s technical training sessions, project management, and specific studies have contributed significantly to several aspects of the project, including ventilation simulation, BIM technology courses, and the implementation of various construction elements and systems. Ayesa’s expertise in tunnel boring machines, track superstructure, architectural finishes, energy systems, mechanical systems, telecommunications systems, and railway signaling has been critical to the success of the project.
As a construction supervisor, Ayesa has also taken into account a multitude of stakeholders’ interests and concerns. One key consideration was Quito’s cultural heritage where steps were taken to preserve the city’s historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For instance, extensive archaeological studies were conducted prior to the construction of the San Francisco station, located beneath the Plaza de San Francisco, to detect and preserve significant findings. Ayesa worked with Acciona on the environmental management plan to promote the reduction, reuse, and recycling of materials and waste generated throughout the project. Leftover wood, tyres, and plastics were donated for community carpentry, school projects and recycling initiatives.
Ayesa’s efficient management and execution of the project have resulted in the completion of the Quito Metro system within the original budget and to the highest standards. The company’s proactive approach enabled it to assume the supervision of the rolling stock, which was not initially part of the scope, avoiding delays in the delivery of trains. Commercial operations of the metro will commence in the first half of 2023.
It is fitting that the metropolis of 2.5 million inhabitants will benefit from the advantages of a modern, high-capacity metro line that will allow its populationto move around the capital more smoothly, safely and quickly. The project is also a testament to the city’s commitment to sustainability and innovation in public transportation.
passengers per day