br-ViaMobilidade lines 8 and 9 Sao Paulo

BRAZIL: State-owned suburban operator Companhia Paulista de Trens Metropolitanos has handed over management, operation and maintenance of Line 8 (Diamante) and Line 9 (Esmeralda) to private-sector concessionaire ViaMobilidade, a consortium owned 83% by CCR and 17% by RuasInvest. The two lines are the busiest of CPTM’s seven routes.

The handover took effect on January 27 following approval by the Metropolitan Transport Secretariat on January 22, ViaMobilidade having won the concession at auction on April 20 2021.

Special purpose vehicle ViaMobilidade Lines 8 and 9 now has responsibility for operations and maintenance of the two lines for a term of 30 years. During that period, the company has committed to invest around R$3∙8bn in modernisation and improvement works and in the acquisition of 36 Series 8900 Metropolis trainsets ordered from Alstom in July 2021.

The first of the new trains is due to be delivered 18 months after contract signing. Designed to carry up to 2 600 passengers, each eight-car set will feature wide doorways and inter-car gangways.

In the immediate future ViaMobilidade will start renovating stations at Grajaú, Santo Amaro, Santa Terezinha, Sagrado Coração, Commander Sampaio, Imperatriz Leopoldina and Lapa with a view to completing the work by February 2023.

Reconstruction of the station at Ambuitá, near the western end of Line 8 between Amador Bueno and Santa Rita, is also planned, as well as a new operations control centre and modernisation of the Presidente Altino depot. In addition, further work will be needed to finish the extension of Line 9 from Grajaú to Varginha, construction of which began in 2013.

Francisco Pierrini, CEO of the SPV, said that ‘the start-up of ViaMobilidade Lines 8 and 9 represents a milestone in the history of rail transport in the metropolitan region of São Paulo. ViaMobilidade’s operational excellence and the concept of human mobility applied by the concessionaire in asset management will result in a very positive model for metropolitan rail transport. These are changes that will happen gradually and will be felt by passengers over the period of transition.’

Communication & Sustainability Manager Juliana Alcides commented that ‘the concessionaire’s values are based on responsibility for the safety and comfort of the trip and on building a welcoming and inclusive environment. We call human mobility the concept that emphasises the need to build a positive life experience in transport’, she said, noting that travel should improve ‘for thousands of passengers on lines 8 and 9’.

Line 8 runs for 41·6 km from Júlio Prestes to Amador Bueno, with 22 stations serving the municipalities of São Paulo, Osasco, Carapicuíba, Barueri, Jandira and Itapevi; it handles about 500 000 passengers a day. The 32 km Line 9 connects Osasco with Grajaú, with 18 stations in São Paulo and Osasco, carrying around 600 000 passengers a day.

ViaMobilidade has previously won concessions to operate São Paulo metro Line 5 and more recently the Line 17 monorail under construction.