The state-owned Caracas Metro will increase its extension from 136 kilometers (85 miles) to 236 kilometers (145 miles) during the next seven years after boosting it from 45 kilometers (28 miles) to 136 kilometers (85 miles) over the past 13 years, the transporation service's chief, Haiman El Troudi, said.

The government has maintained "an agressive investment policy" in the capital's subway system, investing some $25 billion dollars in 91 additional kilometers (57 additional miles) over the last 13 years, El Troudi told Televen.

"In the next seven years" a similar amount will be invested to reach 236 kilometers (145 miles), compared with the $4 billion invested between 1979 and 1998, El Troudi said.

After five years with subway tickets frozen at 0.50 bolivars (11 cents) each - scarcely enough to cover 10 percent of costs, according to official figures - the fare per passenger doubled a year ago to 1 bolivar (22 cents).

Despite the hike, the state subsidy "kept tickets on the Caracas Metro 50 percent more economical than fares for surface transport," El Troudi said.

Subway trains began running in Caracas in 1983 carrying about 400,000 passengers a day but now carry five times more, or some 2 million people, El Troudi said.

Besides Caracas, subway systems also operate in the northwestern city of Maracaibo and the central city of Valencia, both state corporations in operation since 2006. EFE