THIS MONTH is due to see the shortlisting of between three and five consortia for the build-operate-transfer concession to develop the first of eight light rail lines in Jerusalem (MR00 p36). These firms will then be required to submit final tenders during September.

On June 21 the municipality announced that six groups had lodged prequalification bids:

CityLine Jerusalem: Adtranz, Shikun-u-Binuyi, Etnal, PB Investments and Brussels operator STIB;

CityPass: Alstom Transport, Elco, Poalim Investments and CGEA;

Adanim Group: Bombardier, Discount Bank, CLAL Insurance and Den Haag operator HTM;

Ariel Group: CAF, SNC-Lavalin, Delek, Baran Engineering, Dankner Investments and Stuttgart operator SSB;

Passim Group: Siemens, Africa-Israel, Feuchtwanger Electrical Engineering, DBAG and Hannover operator üstra;

Moriya Group: AnsaldoBreda, Malibo, Uri Dori, Gibor Sport & Holding, Bouygues and Paris operator RATP.

Chairman of the Tendering Committee, David Gorshonowitz, who is Deputy Accountant-General at the Finance Ministry, said he was ’very satisfied’ by the level of international representation from major suppliers and investment groups.

Total cost of the eight-line network is put at US$1·1bn. The initial 14 km line from Pisgat Ze’ev to Mount Herzel is costed at around US$400m, including 24 stations and 38 low-floor LRVs. The municipality is investing in preliminary civil engineering and utilities diversion, with the concessionaire expected to contribute around US$370m. The operating concession would run for 25 years. Fares will be pegged at the level of existing bus fares, but the bus network will be restructured to feed rather than compete with the light rail lines.