BRAZIL: Tenders are to be called in September for contracts to operate lines 8 and 9 of São Paulo’s CPTM suburban network under a PPP structure. The two operating contracts are to be awarded by the end of the year, according to state minister for transport Alexandre Baldy.

The two routes are the first parts of the 306 route-km CPTM network to be opened up for private sector operation. Line 8 covers 42 km and runs west from Júlio Prestes to Itapevi, while the 32 km Line 9 runs along the southwest edge of the city from Osasco to Grajaú. Both are 1 600 mm gauge and are electrified at 3 kV DC.

The winner of the concession would be expected to invest ‎R$3bn in the development of the infrastructure, finish the extension of Line 9 from Grajaú to Varginha, on which work started in 2013, and renew the signalling on both routes to permit 3 min headways.

The winning bidders would take over CPTM’s existing rolling stock fleets on both routes. Lines 8 and 9 are considered to have the greatest potential for private sector management since they have been extensively modernised in recent years and ridership is growing rapidly. Daily ridership of Line 8 is 478 700 passengers per day, which is expected to rise to 530 000 by 2020. On Line 9, ridership is expected to reach 611 000 per day, which includes traffic generated by the 4·5 km extension to Varginha which is expected to open next year.

The PPP model of operating concessions is well established in São Paulo. The private sector already runs metro lines 4 and 5 under contracts with the state government, as well as monorail Line 15 and the future Line 17, now under construction.