ARGENTINA: Buenos Aires metro authority Subterráneos de Buenos Aires SE has agreed a new operating concession with the incumbent Metrovías, which is due to enter into force during the first quarter of 2021.

With the existing 20-year concession falling due for renewal, SBASE invited international tenders in 2018, attracting three offers. However, the bids submitted by a grouping of RATP Dev, Alstom and Keolis, and by Corporación América with Transport for London were reportedly withdrawn last year, leaving the local subsidiary of Benito Roggio Transporte as sole bidder.

Approved by the SBASE board at the end of December, the new contract will run for an initial 12-year period, with an optional extension for a further three years.


Unlike the previous fixed-price contract, payments to the concessionaire will in future be calculated on the basis of vehicle-km operated each month, with penalties if the required service levels are not achieved. This is intended to incentivise Metrovías to optimise its fleet maintenance regime. The operator will also become responsible for heavy overhauls to the rolling stock. Bonuses would be paid to reflect any increase in passenger demand as a result of the improved service provided.

According to SBASE, the new contract also incentivises infrastructure investment and the introduction of modern technology.


As well as enhancements to the workshops to support the fleet availability requirement, the operator is expected to restructure its maintenance organisation and introduce a predictive maintenance regime based on asset condition monitoring. The aim is to steadily improve the quality and environmental sustainability of the metro network, ensuring a reliable service, increasing efficiency and reducing costs.

A new passenger information system will provide real time information and details of service alterations. This will include the development of a mobile phone app which will provide basic timetable and train running information, as well as the status of lifts at the stations, plus general network and information and a customer feedback mechanism.


Station improvements will include the roll-out of an ‘intelligent stations’ management system to enhance customer service and reduce energy consumption, including the use of solar panels to power local equipment. Station lighting will be improved, and help points installed on the platforms. New or enhanced displays and interactive digital totems will provide enhanced passenger information, along with intelligent signage and accessible guidance systems.

The fare collection system will be updated with new smart card recharging machines and validators, as well as updated booking office equipment. Existing turnstiles and ticket barriers will be replaced by automatic glass doors at busy stations to reduce fare evasion.