The Puerto Rico Public-Private Partnership Authority board of directors has approved the formation of a P3 for constructing a Caguas-San Juan commuter rail system.

San Juan is the capital city of Puerto Rico. It had a 390,000 population in 2011. Caguas is about 20 miles south and had a population of 143,000 in 2011. The planned commuter rail would connect to Tren Urbano, San Juan’s subway system.

“We are moving one step forward with the Caguas-San Juan Commuter Rail Project,” said Grace Santana, executive director of the PPPA. “Now we will start the evaluation and selection process of the private group that will develop the train.” The private group would be responsible for the design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance of the train.

The project is aimed at reducing residents’ dependence on automobiles, diminishing congestion, improving air quality, and stimulating economic development, the authority said.

Gov. Alejandro García Padilla in April spoke in favor of extending Tren Urbano to Caguas.

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