China consortium wins Colombian capital metro contract

Bogota (AFP) –


China's APCA Transmimetro has won a $4 billion contract to build an elevated metro line in Bogota, Colombia's President Ivan Duque announced Thursday.

APCA Transmimetro, which includes China Harbour Engineering and Xi'An Metro as well as Spanish and Brazilian subcontractors, will build and operate the line under a 20-year concession.

"Today is a cause for celebration for all Bogota residents, and for all of Colombia," Duque said when making the announcement in Bogota.

"Here begins the real metro that the city has been waiting decades for," he said.

Bogota's mayor Enrique Penalosa said work on the project will begin in the first half of next year and the line would be operational by 2025.

A 24-kilometer (15 mile) elevated electric-powered line will serve 16 stations in the city of seven million people, catering for more than a million passengers a day.

Ticket costs have yet to be defined.

But city authorities said they would hope to keep them at around the same cost as a bus ticket, around 2,400 pesos or 0.70 dollars

APCA Transmimetro beat off competition from a Spanish-Mexican consortium that included Spain's FCC Concesiones de Infraestructura and Mexico's Carso Infraestructura and Construccion and Promotora del Desarrollo de America Latina.