BRAZIL: The São Paulo state government has called tenders for the operation and maintenance of two busy suburban lines, under a programme intended to attract private investment for enhancements.
The state’s Secretaría de Transporte Metropolitano has invited bids for a 30-year concession to operate and maintain Line 8 (Diamante) and Line 9 (Esmeralda). These are the busiest of the seven routes totalling 273 route-km that are currently run by the state-owned Companhia Paulista de Trens Metropolitanos.
The 41 km east-west Line 8 from Julio Prestes to Amador Bueno has 22 stations serving six municipalities and carries around 500 000 passengers/day. North-south Line 9 from Osasco to Grajaú is 31·8 km long with 18 stations, and carries 590 000 passengers/day.
‘The concession will bring enormous benefits to passengers who use these lines on a daily basis, as the private sector will be committed to promoting the modernisation of the stations, carrying out major accessibility works and also increasing the capacity of the lines’, explained São Paulo state transport minister Alexandre Baldy. ‘In addition to improving the passenger experience, the concessioning of the lines will have a significant impact on the management of public resources.’ At present CPTM receive an annual subsidy of R$303m to run the two routes.
The competition is open to Brazilian and international companies, who will be able to bid singly or as a consortium.
The winning bidder will be selected on the basis of demonstrating the greatest operational benefit over the concession period. The state had already announced plans to invest US$600m between 2021 and 2028, funding the construction of new stations, rolling stock procurement and new signage.
Bidders will be expected to detail their investment proposals and delivery timescales. The list of requirements in the bid documents includes the procurement of at least 34 new trains, renovation of Presidente Altino depot and the construction of a new operations control centre for the two lines, which are currently managed from the CPTM OCC at Brás. Both routes must be resignalled, and the traction power supply renewed to permit the operation of more trains at shorter headways. The operator will also have to make provision for transferring the maintenance activities from CPTM.
The tender invitation also provides for the potential extension of services to other parts of the metropolitan regions of São Paulo and Sorocaba. Under plans announced last year, operation of Line 8 was to be bundled with the reactivation of passenger services on the 97 km São Paulo – Sorocaba main line which is also owned by CPTM. The concession proposals were put out to public consultation following a public hearing in February 2020, with more than 1 600 responses received by the end of April.
According to the state’s Deputy Governor Rodrigo Garcia, the competition announced on January 5 is the first in a series of major infrastructure and service projects to be tendered in the first quarter of 2021.