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Implementation of the primary public transport network for the city of Cuenca (Ecuador) – The tramway “TRANVÍA DE LOS CUATRO RÍOS”
The historic center of Cuenca-Ecuador currently concentrates activities of different branches such as commerce, finance and services, where the reasons for travel, work, shopping and personal management are numerous. In this dazzling place, the Cañari, Inca and Hispanic past and the influences of the Republican era, testify to an architectural, cultural and natural richness.
However, the loss of public space has become an issue that cannot be ignored, necessitating the implementation of projects that reclaim and improve spaces for pedestrians, as well as the conditions of comfort, safety and connectivity.
Although the Decentralized Autonomous Government of Cuenca has been carrying out works to improve mobility and accessibility in the city for several years, the City Center continues to suffer from vehicle congestion. Therefore, alternative solutions are imperative depending on the needs of the area, and the construction of a mobility system must be in line with the objectives of the Special Plan of the Historic Center project.
In this context, this plan’s mobility and accessibility policies aim to improve the quality of the historical center in the protected area and in the rest of the city to reduce travel times by optimizing urban mobility in direct relation with the improvement of public space. One of the components of the mobility system proposed by the Special Plan project of the Historical Center of Cuenca is a Public Transport System based on the implementation of the Integrated Transport System and complemented by a Mass Transport System.
As an articulation of the project to SDG 11 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the tramway allows the protection of the environment by reducing carbon emissions by not consuming fossil fuels and, therefore, promotes the conservation of the historic center of Cuenca while offering complete and sustainable mobility. Integrated into the Central Government Plan for the development of strategic axes of productivity and infrastructure, this competitive mobility system linked to the reorganization and modernization of the public transport system allows savings in costs, travel times, greater traffic safety, and improved environmental conditions.
In the energy sector, transport contributes 45.16% of greenhouse gases. In this sense, the Cuenca tramway contributes to reducing GHG pollution because the efficiency of public transport is estimated at 27 GgCO2-ecu / year, which corresponds to carbon equivalent units. Thus, the implementation of an electric mobility system such as the tram has 0 emissions.
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