KAZAKHSTAN: The city of Almaty’s transport department has invited expressions of interest in a public-private partnership contract to develop a light rail line for opening in the third quarter of 2022.

The proposed Almaty LRT would have 37 stops on a 22·7 km 1 435 mm gauge route along one of the principal avenues, with a branch to the depot. There would be a fleet of 36 100% low-floor light rail vehicles between 30 and 35 m long and 2 650 mm wide. Ridership is estimated at 76 000 to 112 000 passengers per day, with services operating every 4 min the peaks, a maximum speed of 60 km/h and an average commercial speed of 22 km/h.

The 26-year PPP deal allocates three years for financing, design, construction and commissioning, followed by 23 years of operations and maintenance before the line would be transferred to the city’s transport department.

The city, rather than the national government, would be responsible for the public element of financing. This would include a grant to cover 50% of the capital cost. The department would retain ridership risk, and would receive all ticket revenue. The contractor would be paid an availability and quality fee to cover its investment and operating costs, and would also receive advertising and ancillary retail revenue.

Requests to participate should be submitted by November 29.