Metros in Venezuela: The Valencia metro

Valencia is the capital of the state of Carabobo, Venezuela. It is one of the cities with the highest number of industries in the country. Valencia is also a city of historic importance, since it hosted one of the most important battles for the independence of Venezuela. Even though it is mostly an urban setting, Valencia also has many parks. One of the most important lakes in Venezuela, the Valencia Lake, is located in this city. The city is surrounded by hills and mountains.

The public means of transportation are comprised of buses, the trains from the national railway, and the metro. There are also taxis available. In the previous century, Valencia used to have a tramway service. However, on March 31st, 1947, the tram service in Valencia was eliminated. The metro service in the city is called the Valencia Metro. It is managed by the Ministry of Infrastructure. The metro offers transportation to over 1,450,000 people that live in the city of Valencia.

History

The Valencia Metro began construction on 1994. However, due to a lack of financial support, the construction came to a halt. In 1997, there were discussions about resuming the construction of the metro. The tunnels were initially excavated by workers using shovels. However, on 2000, a tunnel boring machine was acquired and utilized to excavate the tunnels for the metro. During this year, the Valencia Metro got fully funded to continue its construction. The total costs for the Valencia Metro project were around 800 million American dollars.

The metro started service on November 18th, 2006, with the opening of line 1. However, it was only partially finished. During this time, only three stations were available. During its initial year, the metro was free for everyone. Afterwards, the Valencia Metro was officially inaugurated on November 18th, 2007. More stations were opened. Nowadays, people need to pay in order to board the trains.

During its official inauguration, seven stations were operational. These stations covered a total length of approximately five kilometers of railway. The latest stations were opened to the public in 2015, with the addition of over 1.4 kilometers of railway to the Valencia Metro. The metro’s line 2 is not fully finished. The construction of its stations started on July, 2007. However, on December, 2009, the works for line 2 were halted. Line 2’s construction was resumed on October 24th, 2011. Once finished, line 2 will have a total railway of over 4 kilometers.

Metro de Valencia, Venezuela

Lines and Stations

The Valencia Metro has two lines and 9 stations. Every platform has length of 120 meters. All of the electrical equipment is provided by the company Siemens. The tunnels were excavated in a trench-like shape. Every station is located underground. Also, each stations has six escalators. Each building has two underground levels. In the first level, you can buy tickets for the train. Then, in the second level, you will find the platforms. The total number of rail cars is 12. The stations for each line are the following:

Line 1: Its stations are located in the municipalities of Valencia and Naguanagua. Service begins at Monumental station, and ends at Cedeño station. It has the following 9 stations:

  • 1. Las Ferias: It is located in Las Ferias Avenue. It was inaugurated on November 18th, 2007. This station, like many others, is located in the Valencia municipality.
  • 2. Monumental: One of the terminals of the metro. It is located in Plaza de Toros. It was one of the first stations to be opened. It was opened to the public during the inauguration of the metro. This is one of the busiest stations of the metro.
  • 3. Francisco de Miranda: This station is still not finished. However, it partially offers transportation. Citizens from the municipality of Naguanagua use this station. It was inaugurated on April 29th, 2015, making it one of the most recent stations.
  • 4. Cedeño: The second terminal of the metro. Just like the first terminal, it was opened to the public during the inauguration of the metro. You will find this station in the intersection between Bolivar Avenue and Cedeño Avenue.
  • 5. Santa Rosa: It is one of the stations that opened on November 18th, 2007. This is yet another station that can be found on Las Ferias Avenue.
  • 6. Palotal: Just like the previous station, it is located in Las Ferias Avenue. It is one of the few stations to be opened during the opening day of the Valencia Metro.
  • 7. Rafael Urdaneta: Although operational, this station is still under construction. It was opened to the public on April 29th, 2015. It offers transportation to the municipality of Naguanagua.
  • 8. Lara: It is operational since 2007. You can find this station at Lara Avenue.
  • 9. Michelena: Located in Michelena, in the intersection between Las Ferias Avenue and 91th Street. It started service on 2007.

Line 2: It has only one operational station.

1) Lara: It is the same station as in line 1.

Connections

Lara station is a transfer point between line 1 and 2.

At one of the future stations, you will be able to make a connection with the trains of the national railway service of the Great Venezuela Railway.

Connection to the airport

The only airport in Valencia is the Arturo Michelena Valencia International Airport. The only other nearby airport is Maiquetía International Airport, located in the district of Caracas. The Caracas airport is at a 2 hour drive from Valencia. Therefore, if you want to travel between the Valencia Metro and the airport, you should go to the Arturo Michelena Airport.

The closest metro station to the Valencia Airport is San Diego station. The travel time between this station and the airport is 15 minutes by car. Another nearby station to the airport is Las Ferias station.

Schedule, calendar, and timetables

The Valencia Metro is operational from Monday to Friday, with the exception of holidays. The metro starts service at 6:00 am, and remains operational until 11:00 pm. During peak hours, there are trains available every 10 minutes. On the other hand, during off-peak hours, the trains are available every 20 minutes. It takes around 12 minutes to travel between downtown Valencia and Monumental station.

Prices, tickets, and cards

There are two types of tickets available: the regular tickets, and the tickets for students. The price for the regular tickets is 4 Bolivares (0.40 USD). Meanwhile, the price for the tickets for students is of 1.2 Bolivares (0.12 USD). As it can be observed, it is one of the cheapest tickets for a metro service in the world.

Some people do not have to pay to use the metro. Children under four years old travel for free. Additionally, senior citizens and people with disabilities can use the Valencia Metro without needing to pay the metro’s fares.

There are no cards available for the Valencia Metro.

Metro Valencia Venezuela Metro station Valencia

Tips

  • 1) If you wish to know more about Venezuelan history, visit Campo Carabobo.
  • 2) If you go downtown, try travelling in a group and during the day due to safety concerns.
  • 3) Try a local snack called “Panelas de San Joaquín”, which is famous in the region.
  • 4) Among other local dishes that you should try are “cachapas” and “tizanas”.
  • 5) Some places that you should visit if you go downtown include the Celis House, Plaza Bolivar, and the Cathedral.
  • 6) To get a panoramic view of the city, visit Mount Casupo.
  • 7) If you want to get out of Valencia, bring cash with you. You will need to pay a toll, and you can only do so with cash.
  • 8) Try not to drive between 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm. These are the peak hours, and traffic can make it difficult to go anywhere.
  • 9) The metro only accepts cash. Therefore, make sure to bring cash with you to buy a ticket. Additionally, make sure to bring the exact amount of cash needed for your ticket, since the personnel at the ticket booths do not have change.
  • 10) Keep an eye on your belongings, since pickpockets are commonly seen.
  • 11) You can contact customer service at the following phone number: 058 0241 874 0400 or 058 0241 874 0406. Their email address is atencionciudadano@metrovalencia.gob.ve. Finally, their offices are located at the following address: Avenida Sesquicentenaria, Parque Recreacional Sur, parte Sur Oeste, Parroquia Miguel Peña, Municipio Valencia, Carabobo State.

Rules

Some of the rules are the same as in most metro services. For instance, you should not smoke within the metro’s facilities. Also, your baggage should not obstruct other passengers. As common sense dictates, you should not assault neither passengers nor the metro’s personnel. Make sure to always obey the personnel’s orders. This includes not entering into areas that are of exclusive use of the metro’s personnel. It is dangerous to try to force open the trains’ doors, therefore, you shall not do it. Also, avoid leaning on the trains’ doors.

Some other rules include:

  • 1) Stay behind the yellow line while waiting in the platform for the train. Otherwise, you will be too close to the edge of the platform, and you may fall to the tracks.
  • 2) Every passenger that is five years or older shall buy a ticket to board a train.
  • 3) Only police dogs and guide dogs are allowed on the metro. You cannot enter the metro with any other kind of animal.
  • 4) The seats near the entrance are of exclusive use for senior citizens, pregnant women, and people with disabilities.
  • 5) Strollers should be folded before bringing them into the metro.
  • 6) People waiting for the next train should be located in the proper waiting areas. This way, once a train arrives, the passengers will disembark the train quicker.
  • 7) Do not bring explosives nor flammable materials. Also, refrain from entering the metro with hazardous chemicals.
  • 8) If you bring children with you, make sure to stay always by their side.
  • 9) It is strictly prohibited to hang your arms out the trains’ windows.
  • 10) Avoid running in either the metro or the stations.
  • 11) If you choose to not to sit down while travelling in the train, make sure to grab the train’s handrails. This way, you will avoid falling.
  • 12) You will be prohibited to enter the metro’s facilities under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • 13) Under no circumstance you will be allowed to walk on the tracks or in the tunnels.
  • 14) Unless you are a senior citizen, a person with disabilities, or a pregnant woman, do not use the elevators in the stations.

Fun facts

  • 1) It uses trains made by the Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) Company, a Spanish private firm.
  • 2) Monumental station used to be called “Plaza de Toros.”
  • 3) Also, Monumental station is one of the highlights of the metro. It has a striking design, with a fountain and a garden on the outside. This station was designed by Enrique Sardi. The reason for the unique architecture of this station is that this station is close to a touristic building called “Plaza de Toros”. Therefore, a design similar to Plaza de Toros was given to Monumental station. The warehouse where the Valencia Metro’s rail cars are kept is located at this station.
  • 4) The tunnel boring machine that excavated the tunnels for the Valencia Metro was the same utilized in the excavations of the tunnels for a railway service in Saint Clair River, Canada. This tunnel boring machine is known as the “Topa Beatriz” (Beatriz, The Mole).
  • 5) The metro has a daily ridership of approximately 60,000 passengers.
  • 6) Its railway is over six kilometers long, with a gauge size of 1.440 millimeters.
  • 7) Between the opening days of the metro until February, 2017, the metro has been used by over 170 million passengers.
  • 4) The future station where the connection between the metro and the Great Venezuela Railway will be located near Carobobo’s University. This is one of the most famous universities in Venezuela. The connection between the metro and the national railway will make it easier for students from other states to travel to Carabobo’s University.
  • 5) Each train can transport up to 545 passengers. The trains’ average speed is approximately 25 kilometers per hour, with a top speed of 80 kilometers per hour.
  • 6) The trains for the metro are light rail vehicles that belong to the SD-460 family. The Valencia Metro trains are from the same model than the ones in the Guadalajara Metro and in the Saint Louis Metro. They were manufactured by the German company Siemens. These trains were made in factories in California. Each rail car is around 30 meters long, 3 meters wide, and four meters high. They weigh around 41,000 kilograms (over 90,000 pounds) each. The SD-460 trains use 600 kilowatts of power (over 790 horse power). The electricity required by these trains is of 745 volts in direct current. To obtain the electricity from the overhead wire, the trains use a pantograph, a device that gets electricity from the wire and transfers it to the rail car. Another fun fact about these trains is that their wheel arrangement is B-B-B (according to the North American wheel arrangement system). This means that each railroad truck has two powered axles. Also, each train consists of two rail cars. The trains of the SD-460 family were all manufactured between 1999 and 2005. The total number of these trains in the world is approximately 70.
  • 7) The trains´ wheels are detachable. This was an innovation back in 2006.
Metro Valencia Venezuela President in Metro Valencia

Future expansions

There are currently four stations under construction, 17 stations that are planned to be built, and two unfinished stations that are open to the public. The stations under construction are El Viñedo, Los Sauces, Guaparo, and Majay. In the near future, Rafael Urdaneta station and Francisco de Miranda station will be finished. The stations that are still being drafted are the following:

Line 1: This line is planned to be divided into three parts. Only the first part is currently finished. The stations for the remaining two parts are the following:

  • 1. Simón Bolívar.
  • 2. Paramacay.
  • 3. Caprenco.
  • 4. La Campiña.
  • 5. La Granja.
  • 6. Tarapio.

Line 2: The planned stations for this line are the following:

  • 1. La Guacamaya.
  • 2. Bomberos.
  • 3. Henry Ford.
  • 4. Cementerio.
  • 5. Aranzazu.
  • 6. Uslar.
  • 7. La Florida.
  • 8. Estadio.
  • 9. Lara II.
  • 10. Branger.
  • 11. Hospital.

All of these stations will be completed by 2020. Also, there are plans to construct new lines and more stations after 2020. One of the new lines that are planned for the metro is line 3.

Although every station is currently underground, there will be surface-level stations. This is possible because the trains get their electricity from an overhead wire. If the metro had to get its electricity from a third rail from the railway, it would be dangerous for pedestrians. As a consequence, the trains would need to stay underground. Therefore, the Valencia Metro trains will be allowed to travel at surface-level railways.

Line 2 will have a daily ridership of over 145,000 people after all of its stations are built. In San Diego, there will be a line 2 station. At this station, the metro will have an additional transfer point to the trains of the national railway service.

Nearby attractions

There are many national parks, malls, and many other points of interest in Valencia. Since Monumental station is one of the busiest stations of the Valencia Metro, it will be used as a reference point. Some of the nearby touristic attractions are the following:

  • 1) Negra Hipólita Park: From Monumental, board the metro towards Cedeño station. You will have to travel through 5 stops. Get off at Cedeño station. Afterwards, you could walk 3 kilometers to reach the park. Alternatively, you could call a taxi. The park is located at Parque Negra Hipólita, Valencia 2001.
  • 2) Casa de los Celis: From Monumental, board the metro towards Lara station. Then, from Lara station, walk on Avenida Lara/Calle 95 A, and head towards Avenida 100 Bolivar Sur. You will be within 690 meters of your destination. Finally, walk to Calle 98 Comercio.
  • 3) Atenéo de Valencia: From Monumental, board the metro, and head towards Cedeño station. Once you get there, you will need to walk 410 meters. From Cedeño, walk onto Calle 105 Cedeño, and go to Avenida 100 Constitución. Next, head towards Avenida 100 Bolivar Norte. Finally, your destination will be between Calle Colombia 100 and Calle 108 Salom.
  • 4) Casa Páez: From Monumental, use the metro to get to Lara station. After reaching Lara station, you will need to walk around 600 meters. First, walk into Avenida Lara /Calle 95A, and head to Avenida San Jose de Tarbes. Finally, walk towards Avenida 98 Boyacá and Calle 99 Páez.
  • 5) La Fundación Mendoza Mall: From Monumental, get on a train a travel towards Las Ferias station. Then, from Las Ferias, you will need to walk around 890 meters. First, start walking towards Avenida 100 Bolivar Sur, and go to Avenida Principal. Finally, walk to Centro Comercial La Fundación Mendoza, 2001.

Metro map of Valencia-ve

Metro map of Valencia-ve Full resolution
Map via www.metrovalencia.gob.ve
See map full resolution. It may take a little bit to load.

Valencia-ve metro map

  • Passengers/Day 62000
  • Fares:
  • 24h operation: No
  • Air Conditioning: Si
  • Walk between platforms: No
  • Driverless trains: No
  • Screen Doors Platforms: No
  • Average Speed: 65km/h
  • € 1
  • Valencia-ve Metro Official Website
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