According to an article written in 2012, the tram is necessary to relieve pressure on overtaxed city streets and highways and to move commuters more efficiently. “More than 70% of Cuenca’s population depends on public transportation and the current system of buses has not kept up with the demand. There are almost 500 buses on the streets and they are not only slow but are the biggest source of pollution. The new electric tram will run from Pan Americana Sur at the intersection with Av. Las Americas on the southwest side of town, to Av. Ordóñez Lasso, through El Centro, by the main bus station and airport on Av. España, to Parque Industrial in the northeast. The round-trip will cover 21.4 kilometers. According to planners, the project is scheduled to be completed in late 2014. OOPS, here is it October 29, 2018 and the projected completion is slated for the end of the year and after about 3-months training for people associated with the tram, operational March or so of 2019!! We will see!!

The system is projected to carry 120,000 passengers a day at three times the speed of buses and taxis. The design of the system is based on the recommendation of French consulting firm Coteba Artelia, which considered Cuenca’s population density, historic character, narrow streets and large commuter population. “A narrow gauge electric tram is the best solution for Cuenca,” Coteba Artelia reported.

The article said, Tranvía de los Cuatro Rios, as the system is called, will have 14 units of five cars each, each capable of carrying 300 passengers. The system’s 27 stations will be spaced at distances of about 800 meters outside the historic district and 400 meters within the district. On average, trains will stop at stations every six minutes and travel at speeds of 22 kilometers and hour, compared to 7 to 8 kilometeres per hour speed for buses. Fares will be the same as for buses, currently 25 cents. Fares will be going up but I don't know when or to what amount.

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