ANTHONY GAROTINHO, Governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro, has approved a funding package for a short extension of metro Line 1 in the city’s Copacabana district. The deal clears the way for concessionaire Opportrans to start work on the 760m extension from the present Cardeal Arco Verde terminus to Siquera Campos, which the Governor expects to open before the end of his term of office in June 2002.

Under the deal, the annual fee which Opportrans is committed to pay to the city metro authority until 2018 will be transferred to the National Economic & Social Development Bank, BNDES. This income flow will service an R$220m loan needed to fund construction of the R$184m extension. Garotinho has also promised to inaugurate an extension of Line 2 services across the city centre. Opportrans has launched a feasibility study into the modifications needed for Line 2 trains to run over Line 1 from the junction at Est