As far back as the 1940s, residents of Bogota, one of the world’s most densely populated cities, have been waiting for a metro system that will facilitate mobility and ease congestion. Nearly 80 years later, that wait is almost over.
Since October 2020, WSP in Colombia has been working closely with colleagues from the UK and Canada to support the introduction of Colombia’s first metro in its capital city. Elevated on a viaduct, the 23.96km metro will be fully automatic, driverless and integrate with the existing Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system – currently the main form of public transport available to Bogota’s +7 million citizens – at ten of its stations.
Bogota Metro Line 1 will accommodate 72,000 passengers per hour in each direction, amounting to 1.05 million a day. Each driverless train will be able to carry 1,800 passengers, of which 15% will be seated, and will travel at an approximate average speed of 42.5km/h in 90 second intervals, making journeys from one end of the line to the other take as little as 27 minutes.
WSP is the lead Civil and Systems detailed designer. We are not only responsible for integrating designs and managing the design approval process, but also for supporting the client throughout the three design phases and ensuring they achieve their environmental and social goals.
Some of the key professional services we have provided on Bogota’s metro include:
- GoA4 signalling system development and technical advisory
- Full Civil and Rail Systems detailed design and specifications
- System-wide integration
- Depot design and operational analysis
- Management of local and international contractors
- Construction technical support
- Safety integration and quality management up to line opening
- Stations design and integration of full M&E services
Future Ready Applied
WSP is ensuring that designs for the new metro system are future ready – able to run off renewable energy, cope with a growing population, and take advantage of technological advances.
The 100% electrically powered mass transit system will offer a quicker, greener mode of transport to residents and visitors of the city. It is expected that this will increase demand for public transport and subsequently reduce traffic congestion, avoiding the emission of 171,000 tons of CO2 per year by 2030.
Designs also include provisions to incorporate 19km of bike lanes, further supporting greener modes of transport.
Once fully functional, this line alone will help our client to realise the many benefits of an integrated transport system to a growing city. It will generate over 27,000 jobs and reduce congestion to positively impact more than 2.92 million inhabitants in 75 neighbourhoods. An extension to the line is already being considered, which would help to further support growing population numbers in the future.
The entire project is being produced in BIM to a high level of detail (LOD300/350) and the WSP design teams are coordinating interfaces in 3D using collaborative processes. This is giving huge time and cost savings compared to the baseline schedule. The eventual system will be designed to a high specification utilising many technology developments in Telecomms and Radio whilst assisting Colombia in its transition to a low carbon economy.
As one of the world’s top transport megaprojects in terms of scale, importance and complexity, the first metro line has not been without its challenges. It was important that designs overcame the limited construction space available and caused as little disruption as possible. In response to this, the Metro will be integrated with Bogota’s famous BRT ‘Transmilenio’ and provide interchange points at key locations, making access to both systems more convenient for passengers.
We engaged and managed multiple stakeholders from across the globe, including China, Spain, Italy, and Colombia, among others. Our team worked hard to overcome language barriers, made even more challenging by remote working, to achieve advocacy for the project.
Credit image above: Metro de Bogotá