Tendering for operating concessions in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Den Haag, due to have been completed by January 2012, has been postponed for a year by Transport Minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen. The Federation of Netherlands Mobility Companies, comprising Connexxion, Arriva, Syntus and Veolia, believes the deferral will cost the taxpayer €60m in lost savings.

The Federal Transit Administration approved Tucson’s environmental plan in late January, allowing construction of a 5·8 km tram line to begin. The $182m project is due for completion in mid-2013. An order for seven new cars has been placed with Oregon Iron Works subsidiary United Tram and a further four contracts will be tendered shortly.

Chilean President Sebastián Piñera inaugurated an 8·6 km extension of Santiago metro Line 5 with seven stations south from Pudahuel to Plaza de Maipú on February 3. The metro network is now 103 km long with 108 stations.

EIB signed a €160m loan agreement with Hamburger Hochbahn AG on January 24. The funds will be used to renew and expand the operator’s fleet of metro trainsets and buses. HHA has ordered 27 DT5 trainsets from a consortium of Alstom and Bombardier (RG 10.10 p71).

Metro de Madrid has approved the use of Bombardier’s Cityflo 650 CBTC signalling on 30 Series 8400 trainsets currently entering service on Line 6, marking the start of full CBTC operation on the circular route; 25 of the existing fleet of Series 5000 trainsets have already been equipped.