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City News in Brief

01 Jul 2007
  • Tenerife's Tranvía tramway opened on June 2 with a day of celebrations in Santa Cruz. Passengers were given free rides along the 12·4 km route between Intercambiador, Santa Cruz's bus and tram interchange, and La Trinidad. The route serves 21 stops, with a flat fare of €1·25 for all journeys. The proposed second phase will see Tranvía extended by 4·4 km to La Cuesta.
  • Services were expected to begin on June 30 on the first phase of Marseille's light rail network, operating initially between Les Caillols and Euroméditerranée-Gantès via Longchamp. This service pattern incorporates sections of routes 1 and 2 pending full opening of the Noailles - La Blancarde section via Escoffier which includes the tunnel used until 2003 by tram route 68. Bombardier is supplying 26 bi-directional Flexity Outlook trams for the network at a cost of k61m (RG 12.06 p761).
  • Construction of the first underground metro line in Chongqing got underway on June 8. The route will serve 23 stations between University Town in the west of the city and Chaotianmen in the east, a total distance of 36 km. Line 1 is expected to open in 2011 and will cost 12·5bn yuan to build. It will complement Line 2, the city's 19·2 km monorail, which opened in 2005.
  • Alstom is the preferred bidder to supply 53 Citadis vehicles to RET after it saw off competition from Bombardier. The decision, taken on June 5, paves the way for further negotiations between Rotterdam tram operator RET and Alstom on the detail of the contract. Alstom's supplied a previous build of 60 Citadis trams to RET in 2003.
  • The €1·3bn, 15·8 km Line B of the VAL in Toulouse was scheduled to commence public operation on June 30. Running from Borderouge to Ramonville, the route has an interchange with Line A at Jean-Jaurès. Operator Tisséo is also updating its ticketing equipment to cater for Carte Pastel contactless smart cards, use of which is initially limited to holders of concessionary travel permits.
  • Metronet Rail BCV, the arm of Metronet responsible for upgrading the Bakerloo, Central and Victoria lines, has begun proceedings to recover additional PPP costs from London Underground by inviting the PPP Arbiter to conduct an Extraordinary Review. The Arbiter will attempt to establish where responsibility lies for cost overruns that have occurred since the BCV contract was awarded by assessing Metronet's performance against a 'notional infraco'.
  • Last month ProInversión was due to begin tendering a 40-year concession to operate Lima metro Line 1 and build an 11·7 km extension from Atocongo to Hospital Dos de Mayo in the Cercado de Lima district of the Peruvian capital (RG 6.07 p336). As well as providing partial funding, the successful bidder will be required to undertake design of the nine-station extension. A contract is expected to be signed during the first quarter of 2008.