President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

BRAZIL: The final stretch of Recife Metro's South Line between Tancredo Neves and Cajueiro Seco was opened by Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on 23 March. The 6·7 km extension has five stations and links the city centre with Recife's international airport and mainline rail services at Cajueiro Seco station.

This latest extension is initially expected to increase travel demand by 20 000 passengers per day. Journey time on the 14·3 km Linha Sul between Recife station and Cajueiro Seco is 25 min, with trains operating every 17 min between 06.00 and 22.00 Monday to Saturday.

Work is progressing to upgrade the 17 km line between Cajueiro Seco and Cabo de Santo Domingo. Tendering for construction of integrated bus and rail stations is in hand, and light rail vehicles worth R$60·5m have been ordered from the Trends-Bom Sinal consortium to replace the existing diesel trains. Operator Metrorec is also refurbishing stations on the Central Line and modernising the rolling stock.

Once the expansion work is completed in November 2010 passenger numbers are expected to double to around 380 000 a day.