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The mass transit system — monorail and cable car — for the nation’s second-largest city, Santiago de los Caballeros, is estimated to cost over RD$33 billion. The winning bid for the design and construction of the system, made by the Santiago Metropolitan Transportation System Consortium (CSTM), is RD$25 billion and the equipment is pegged at another RD$8.6 billion. The system would transport up to 40,000 passengers per hour and absorb up to 30% of the approximate 1.2 million commutes taken daily in the city. The service today is provided by conchos (shared taxis), motoconchos (shared motorcycles), mini-buses and the infamous “voladoras,” (vans), all used by the general public.
The mass transit system will cross the entire city, from Cienfuegos in the west to Pekin in the southeast, some 15 kilometers. It will have 16 stations and a terminus that will connect with the...