MADRID'S first 'light metro' route opened to traffic after two months of trials on May 24, when LRVs began operating over the 5·5 km line between Pinar de Chamartín and Las Tablas in the city's northern suburbs.

By June 20 the Madrid regional government was able to report that an average of 15 000 passengers a day were using the route, built at a cost of €263m with 30% on surface and serving seven intermediate stations.

The very last project in Madrid's 2003-07 expansion programme was expected to open shortly, comprising the light metro routes from Colonia Jardín to Pozuelo de Alarcón and Boadilla del Monte, a total of 22·4 km and 29 stations built at a cost of €362m. Madrid Metro has acquired a fleet of 70 LRVs to operate its new routes, each 32 m long and capable of accomodating 188 passengers. They are equipped with ATP as well as interior lighting that adjusts for underground or surface operation.