A new light rail line is to be built in Porto, along with an extension of an existing route.

PORTUGAL: Prime Minister António Costa attended a ceremony on April 5 at which Metro do Porto called tenders for contracts to build a light rail line and extend an existing route.

The projects were approved by the Council of Ministers in December. Work is expected to begin in early 2020 and be finished in 2023. The total cost of the two projects is put at €307m, of which €100m would come from EU funds.

The 2·5 km Line G would run underground in the city centre between the existing stations at Casa da Música and São Bento, serving two intermediate stations.

A 3·2 km southern extension of Line D would add three stops to the north-south route, running from the current southern terminus of Santo Ovídio to Vila D’Este. Bids are due by April 29 for a contract to supply 18 light rail vehicles to operate the expanded network. Metro do Porto called tenders in December for a contract valued at €56·1m, which includes five years of maintenance. The bidirectional vehicles are required to have capacity for at least 240 passengers, including 60 seated, and a maximum speed of at least 80 km/h. Deliveries would take place between 2021 and 2023.

The operator forecasts that the two expansions would add 10 million passengers a year to the network once they are open. In 2018 ridership across the network was 62·6 million passenger-journeys, a 3·4% increase on the previous year and a historical record.