PORTUGAL: Barraqueiro Group began operating and maintaining the Metro do Porto light rail network last month under a €204·3m seven-year sub-concession contract. The network is now operated by a single company rather than a consortium for the first time.

Barraqueiro previously led the ViaPORTO consortium with Arriva, Keolis and Manvia which operated the network in 2010-18. Last year it was selected as preferred operator following its bid that was 7·5% lower than the reference price set for the public tender.

Metro do Porto expects to save €2·7m a year over the life of the concession. Savings are expected to come mainly from lower maintenance costs for rolling stock, escalators and lifts, and the ticketing system.

Ridership on the network in 2017 was 60·6 million passengers, and two extensions are currently being planned.