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San Juan kicks off $3.8M bus station improvement project

San Juan Mayor Miguel Romero announced the investment of $3.8 million in public transportation improvement projects in the capital city at several bus stations impacted by the onslaught of Hurricanes Irma and María in 2017.

More specifically, Romero explained that the improvements will be carried out at the Capetillo, Río Piedras South and Río Piedras East bus stations in San Juan.

“As a consequence of Hurricanes Irma and María, these three stations suffered a lot of damages,” Romero said at a news conference at one of the bus stations slated to be revamped. “We had to carry out a long process to be able to compile information and be able to comply with all the requirements set by the federal agency that assigned the funds for these improvements.”

An array of improvements is slated to be carried out at the three aforementioned bus stations, Romero noted.

“This project is very important because what we want to achieve through these bus station and the public work improvements is to have stations that are in ideal conditions to promote the use of collective transportation, which is so necessary for our capital city,” the mayor said.

“Not just for businesses that need these passengers visiting Río Piedras but also for residents and San Juan visitors that use these stations as transportation hubs to do things in other places in San Juan and also in other municipalities,” he said.

Romero said that these improvements are also aimed at getting more passengers to use public transportation given that “gasoline costs are something we can’t control.”

“That’s one of the reasons we are carrying out improvements here to get more [bus] drivers,” he said.

Among the improvements that will be carried out are fixing roofs, signs, replacing the electrical system and lighting, and repairing elevators, among others.

The improvements officially kicked of Tuesday, Romero said, while noting that it should take some 300 calendar days to be completed.

The monies for the improvements were awarded by the Federal Transportation Administration (FTA) section 5324 emergency relief funding, he said.

Some $777,000 will be spent at the Capetillo Station, some $1.2 million at the Río Piedras East Station and $1.8 million at the Río Piedras South Station, he said.

Romero further noted that the municipality, during former Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz’s administration, did request Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funding for these improvements but the amount needed for the revamping was not awarded.

“Unfortunately, the amounts that had been claimed [for the improvements] and the real cost for the project, would not be enough for the improvements,” he said. “We had the alternative to request funding from the FTA.”

Last week, Romero announced the second phase of the municipality’s “Tus Calles al Día,” an initiative consisting of a $22 million investment aimed at repaving and rebuilding roads across 25 zones in Puerto Rico’s capital city.

The investment is added to the $34 million that the municipality invested in the first phase of the repaving project, which includes a combination of local and federal funds.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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