It took five years longer to open than initially predicted by city authorities and 19 percent of the full metro system remains unfinished.
But Wednesday’s inauguration still proved to be a historic day for the Andalusian city, which now joins Seville as one of only two cities in the region with an underground railway network.
To mark the occasion, 48,632 Malaga residents and visitors were able to travel free of cost on the metro’s first day of service.
According to local daily La Opinión de Málaga, locals are impressed by the carriages and metro stations in general but remain slightly disappointed there’s no stop in the city centre yet.
Andalusia’s regional president Susana Díaz addressed a crowd of 400 guests and 120 journalists during Wednesday’s inauguration ceremony, promising to invest a further €138 million in the remaining construction costs.
Hoy es un día histórico para Málaga y para Andalucía. Gracias al metro tendremos una ciudad más sostenible y habitable. ¡Enhorabuena!— Susana Díaz Pacheco (@_susanadiaz) July 30, 2014
Málaga metro line with be fully functioning by 2017, Díaz argued.
City authorities hope the service will be used by 15,5 million travellers every year.
Seville’s metro was even more delayed than Malaga’s; the Andalusian capital beginning construction in 1974 and opening its unfinished network (42 percent complete) in 2009 nearly €200 million over budget.