Public transport: Positive outlook for Metropolitan and Light Rail Networks



The return to economic growth in Brazil has reactivated stagnant passenger railway projects and seen the launching of new ones. The legacy of the 2016 Olympic Games has also been key, as it has promoted a decided commitment to urban transport that now aims to seek continuance. The country’s urban rail networks are composed of 44 lines that reach 1,034 kilometres and have 557 stations. The association ANP Trilhos forecasts these networks to grow around 200 kilometres over the next five years. In addition to the projects planned for the next five-year period, there are others under feasibility study that amount to 1,266 kilometres that they wish to have operational by 2022.

At the moment, planning, construction and expansion of subway, light rail, monorail, regional and suburban projects are underway in many cities, among which are: Brasilia Metro, Curitiba, Belo Horizonte, Fortaleza, Goiânia, Porto Alegre, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, São Paulo, Teresina or Florianopolis.

Metro de Brasilia

The Ministry of Cities of Brazil has authorised the government of the Federal District to commence activities on the extension and modernization of the Brasilia metro network, which has an investment of 333.4 million Brazilian reais (83.7 million euros). The project includes the modernisation of the signalling and control system in a stretch of 42 kilometres, along with the updating of the energy supply by 129 million reais (32.4 million euros). There will also be an extension of 3.68 kilometres on the branch to Samambaia with two new stations.

Metro de Belo Horizonte

This metropolitan rail network will boast a further 16 kilometres. There will be two new lines and the expansion of the existing one will be extended. With this project, better coverage will be given to the industrial zone, the airport and the University. The expansion foresees an investment of 950 million euros.

Metro de Curitiba

The first step for this new network will be the construction of 17.6 kilometres, with 15 stops, which will go from the CIC Sul station at the southern end of the city to Rua das Flores, in the centre. Of this entire stretch, 2.2 kilometres will be overland, and the rest, underground. It is foreseen that, once in operation, 18 trains containing five wagons each will operate; with a capacity to transport 419,000 passengers daily. The initial cost is 4,700 million Brazilian reais (1.180 billion euros). An amount that will be financed by the Federal Government, the Paraná, the City of Curitiba, and through private investment initiatives.

Metro de Fortaleza

For this network, also known as “Metrofor”, two new branches are planned. On the one hand, the East line, which will open its doors in 2019, will run for 12 kilometres long and will have 13 stations that will go from the Central Station to the “Chico Da Silva” station. On the other hand, the Maranguape branch, whose inauguration date remains pending. This section will measure 7.2 kilometres and will have two stations.

Goiânia Light Rail Network

The Goiânia Light Rail Network is in the project phase. The Northbound-Southbound line will be 15 kilometres long, with overland sections and some underground. The system will have the capacity to transport between 12,000 and 25,000 passengers per hour in each traveling direction. There is a project to create a second line, based on light rail systems, from an existing bus corridor: the Anhanguera Hub.

Porto Alegre metro and monorail

This network, which currently runs for 42 kilometres in length and boasts 17 stations transports about 130,000 users per day. Since 2015, an extension of the East line of 13.2 kilometres is under study pending the availability of the necessary budget. In addition, there is a People Mover, APM Aeromovel System, which connects the Trensurb Airport Station to Terminal 1 of Salgado Filho International Airport.

Metro and light railway in Rio de Janeiro

The second largest city in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, plans to extend its light rail network, which currently consists of two lines. The construction of Line 3, of 8.1 kilometres, that will connect the Central Station with the Santos Dumont Airport is scheduled for this year. The works are being performed by the Urban Development Company of the Port of Rio (CDURP). The project will be financed as part of the total budget of 1,570 million Brazilian reais (395 million euros) from a public-private partnership. In addition, there are plans for another branch in the southern part of the city. Added to these, though still waiting for the necessary financing, is the extension of the L4 (Yellow) Underground Railway and the construction of a further 20 kilometres reaching Recreio dos Bandeirantes.

Metro de Salvador

The PPP project for Salvador and Lauro de Freitas (SMSL), with a 30-year tender, is considered the largest urban mobility project in Brazil, with an investment budget of 5.6 billion Brazilian reais (1.406 billion euros) to build two lines that will run for 41.5 kilometres. The opening of the third section of Line 2, which will run from Pituaçu east to Mussurunga, is scheduled for the month of October 2018. In the longer term, more extensions are forecast that would expand the network length to 42 kilometres.

Metro de Teresina

At the present time, the upgrading of the current tracks and of some stations is underway. In addition, the authorities of the Government of Piauí have recently acquired three of the six light railway systems that will replace the current ones. The modal shift must happen until June 2018, with which public transport will reach the municipality of Altos. The duplication of roads is also planned, along with the construction of four additional stations, and an operations control centre.

 São Paulo: metropolitan railway, monorail, light railway

One of the cities where more urban rail projects are underway is Sao Paulo. The expansion plan includes new monorail lines: L6 (Orange), L17 (Gold), L18 (Bronze), L19 (Sky Blue), L20 (Pink) and L22 (Burgundy). In addition to the extension of four existing lines. Move São Paulo is responsible for implementing this PPP project. With these plans, the aim is to double the size of the network to reach 175.1 kilometres by 2025.

nd it is expected that L13 (Jade), with 12.2 kilometres, will be completed in the first half of this year. The branch, which has an investment of 2.300 billion Brazilian reais (577 million euros), will reach São Paulo Guarulhos International Airport, and forecast expect it will transport around 130,000 passengers per working day. The Chinese consortium Temoinsa-Sifang supplies eight trains of eight cars for commercial operation.

Light railway and monorail: More kilometres for the future

The future of the light rail also boasts good prospects in Brazil. Along with the projects of the large cities mentioned, there are others of special relevance as Goiani (Goias), under study; Natal (Rio Grande do Norte); São Jose dos Campos (São Paulo); Macaé (Rio de Janeiro), Nova Friburgo (Rio de Janeiro); ABC Paulista / São Bernardo do Campo (Sao Paulo), Brasília (Federal District). Added to this are projects such as the Monorail for Poços de Caldas (Minas Gerais), closed since 2000, and which is another of the networks authorities wish to reactivate. Likewise, Manaus (Amazonias) is in the planning stage.Regarding the metro network, progress is also being made in its expansion. The Metropolitan Transport Department (STM) of the Government of São Paulo has granted the Via Mobilida consortium a 20-year operating licence for Line 5. The contract has a value of 10.8 billion Brazilian reais (2.712 billion euros). After the works have been completed, the L5 (Lila) will have 17 stations over 20.1 kilometres, and will connect Capão Redondo to Chácara Klabin, in the southeast of São Paulo. This consortium will also take over the future monorail L17, which will be operationally ready by 2019.

Regional and Intercity Rail Sao Paulo (TIC)

The InterCity Train (TIC) project costing 20 billion reais (5.023 billion euros) in the state of São Paulo is developed by the consortium of Estação da Luz Participações (EDLP) and the Infrastructure Fund of BTG Pactual. The tender awarded will cover civil works, purchase of rolling stock and operations for 32 years. This train will have two lines of 477 kilometres with 24 stations centred in São Paulo. A northbound-southbound line will connect Americana with Santos, while another line eastbound-westbound will stretch from Sorocaba to Taubaté. In addition, it will connect with two main airports: Guarulhos in São Paulo and Campinas Viracopos, as well as the port of Santos.

On the other hand, the CPTM commuter rail network is also expanding, a