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Project Profile: Tren Urbano

Tren Urbano

photo credit: Puerto Rico Highway and Transportation Authority (PRHTA)


San Juan, Puerto Rico Metropolitan Area

Project Sponsor / Borrower

Puerto Rico Highway and Transportation Authority (PRHTA)

Program Areas

Alternative Project DeliveryProject FinanceValue CaptureTIFIA


Heavy Rail


The Tren Urbano is a single-line, 10.7-mile fixed-guideway rapid transit system that serves the municipalities of San Juan, Bayamón, and Guaynabo in Puerto Rico. It opened in December 2004 and began revenue service in June 2005.

Tren Urbano includes 16 stations, a vehicle maintenance and storage facility, 74 rail cars, operations control center, traction power, train control, and communications systems. Most of the system is elevated with a 1.1-mile tunnel section in the Rio Piedras district.

The project was implemented to provide a solution to the continually rising vehicle traffic levels and to bring a new mode of transportation to the most congested sections of the San Juan metropolitan area.


$2,250 million

Funding Sources

Federal grants - $828.8 million

Bond proceeds - $637.8 million

TIFIA loan - $300.0 million

Other sources - $483.4 million

Project Delivery / Contract Method

Design-build (stations and 6 alignment sections)

Design-build-operate (1 alignment section with 2 stations, maintenance facility, operations control center, and storage yard; rolling stock; and all track, traction power and train control systems)

Private Partner

Siemens AG

Project Advisors / Consultants

AECOM - Owner's representative

Kiewit Construction Company - Tunnel construction


  • TIFIA Legal Advisor - Hawkins Delafield & Wood, LLP
  • TIFIA Financial Advisor - Montague DeRose & Associates, LLC

Bondholders, USDOT TIFIA

Duration / Status

Construction began in 1997; operation began December 2004. The project is 100 percent complete. Revenue service began June 6, 2005.

TIFIA Credit Assistance

Direct Loan - $300 million

The TIFIA loan received a subordinate pledge of certain tax revenues (including the proceeds of motor fuel taxes, tire taxes, and vehicle registration fees) accruing to PRHTA.

Financial Status / Financial Performance

TIFIA Credit Agreement August 4, 2000.

The USDOT disbursed the $300 million loan in its entirety on August 7, 2000. Taking advantage of the low interest rate environment, PRHTA refinanced the loan with tax-exempt debt in April 2003, fully prepaying TIFIA in the amount of $305.6 million. In keeping with the TIFIA objective of encouraging prepayments when feasible, this loan was paid off 32 years earlier than its scheduled final maturity. The bonds issued to refund the TIFIA loan have an interest rate of 4.97 percent, slightly more than 75 basis points lower than the interest rate on the TIFIA loan. The authority expects to save $31.7 million, based on net present value, when compared to maintaining the TIFIA loan.

  • Systems and Test Track Turnkey procurement approach for one section of alignment, rail systems, and rolling stock
Related Links / Articles

USDOT Office of the Inspector General - Project Audit (Sept. 29, 2004)

Puerto Rico Highway and Transportation Authority



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