The president of SBASE, Mauro Alabuenas, in an exclusive dialogue with enelSubte

enelSubte (eeS): You took over as president of SBASE last Februaryalthough he was vice president and member of the board for several years. Knowing the company, what would you say today are Subterráneos’ main challenges?

Mauro Alabuenas (MA): In December we started a new stage, with a new operation and maintenance contract in charge of the company Emova, which means a very important process of modernization of our hundred-year-old network.

On the one hand, one of the main novelties brought by the new concession is that from the new contract, remuneration is based on the indicator car/commercial kilometer (CKC), that is, the service actually provided. In other words, if the company does not comply with the scheduled service, it will not receive the corresponding payment, and this, precisely, is linked to productivity and is an incentive to continue improving the service every day.
On the other hand, the contract provides for investments in infrastructure and the incorporation of new cutting-edge technologies that will allow us to offer a better service, both in terms of the availability of trains and the operation of the facilities, as well as the relationship with users. and subway users.

It is important to point out that even today we continue to face the challenges derived from the pandemic, after which the demand for the subway is recovering more slowly than in other modes of transport. Today we are approximately 70% of the total number of passengers in 2019 and that is why we continue to work hard to recover our users by offering them an agile, safe and fast service that we know they value.
And that is why we carry out various modernization plans for both infrastructure and technology, aimed at improving communication with users. We have works underway to renew the power and signal systems, essential for the operation; we launched a tender for the purchase of escalators that will allow us to put an end to obsolete equipment in the network; and we are working on the accessibility of the Obelisk Node.

In addition, hand in hand with the new operator, we are working on the implementation of a new user service model that has already been launched in different stations and the contact personnel were provided with tablets that allow them to fulfill their function more broadly, agile and dynamic. We also take the Alem station on line B as a model, in which a series of technological innovations aimed at modernizing the facilities were implemented.

eeS: SBASE recently canceled the tender for the line F studies and announced that they will be carried out by its own personnel. Does SBASE today have the human resources to carry out a project of this magnitude?

BREAST: Subterráneos de Buenos Aires has a team of highly trained professionals who have successfully designed and tendered the different sections of line H over the last 20 years and who have a long history working in transportation. In addition, the team was recently reinforced by the incorporation of professionals who were responsible for carrying out the preliminary projects for the most transformative works of recent years in terms of railways, such as the Mitre, San Martín and Belgrano Sur viaducts.

After almost three years and 14 postponements, the City canceled the tender for the studies of line F

eeS: Continuing with line F: the decision to prioritize the Constitución – Callao and Córdoba section raised concerns. Are you planning to abandon the stretch to Barracas? Is any change in the route analyzed (for example, a detour to the Faculty of Law)?

BREAST: When we made the decision to develop the engineering with our own equipment, we also introduced the criterion of stageability, that is, proposing the execution in stages to start with the section that has the greatest potential demand and that will provide the greatest benefits for users with the resources available, in an unfavorable macroeconomic context.

In this sense, we set out to review this project that dates back more than 20 years and that was designed for a city very different from the current one: in all this time, the forms of mobility and the means of public transport available have been changing. In addition, the changes introduced from the dynamics of teleworking are forcing us to rethink investments in urban infrastructure.

Thus, within the route planned for line F, the section that is presented as a priority is the one that connects Constitución with Plaza Rodríguez Peña, in the Recoleta neighborhood, since it coincides with the most densely populated area, it would allow combinations to be made with all the subway lines less with the H and it would also help decongest line C.
With the development of this route, some 213,000 people who make up the resident population in that area would benefit, and an estimated daily demand of between 270,000 – 300,000 passengers is calculated.

Then we will continue north and south, and the layout is something that is just being studied. We are analyzing the best option to meet the current transport demand and following the axes that we proposed: reaching the most densely populated areas, vulnerable areas, achieving better connectivity with other means of transport and optimizing the use of infrastructure existing.

eeS: The Sáenz station on line H has been awarded for more than 10 years but construction never began. Years ago, the former president of SBASE De Montmollin had mentioned the possibility of relicting the work. Being such an important station for the line, what plans does the company have? Do you plan to start the work or re-tender it?

BREAST: The construction was awarded in 2011, but when the head of the line changed by law, the project had to be modified to relocate the station. At that time, the contract was canceled and was put on hold until the construction methodology was defined.
Currently, different techniques and different forms of financing continue to be analyzed, since the ground is softer than expected (deformable, low resistance and sandy) and this complicates the work, as it requires more expensive procedures.

The Sáenz station on line H has been awarded for 10 years, but construction never began

eeS: What projects does SBASE have in relation to the northern section of Line H (Faculty of Law – Retiro)?

BREAST: The extension to Retiro is contemplated in the law, but for now, in terms of network expansion, the priority is to advance with line F.

eeS: Of all the lines, B is the one with the greatest fleet problems. In what state is the announced project to acquire new formations for that line?

BREAST: We already have the preliminary technical documents ready that were shared with the unions for their consideration, to outline a list of bases and conditions for the public tender for the purchase of new trains.

Exclusive: this will be the new trains they plan to buy for line B

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