BOGOTA – Colombian authorities opened on Monday the bidding for the construction of the Bogota metro line, a project estimated to cost about 13 trillion pesos ($4.4 billion).
“Today we’re initiating what will be a new phase in Bogota’s mobility, represented by the opening of the process to select the builder of the first metro line,” Mayor Enrique Peñalosa said at a ceremony attended by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.
The construction of the metro is something that Bogota has been awaiting for more than half a century, but despite the fact that various mayors have commissioned technical studies none of these have been transformed into concrete projects.
Peñalosa said that the model for the bidding process “seeks to bring in the best companies in the world and the call has had a response,” given that – he said – last week 115 companies visited the Colombian capital.
“Of these companies, 65 have expressed in writing their interest in participating in the bidding,” he said.
The Colombian government on Monday signed agreements with the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank and the European Investment Bank for a total of $1.68 billion in financing for the project.
The first stretch of the metro line to be built will cover 24 kilometers (15 miles) and will be able to move 72,000 passengers per hour from the Bosa district, in southern Bogota, to the downtown area.
Santos said that the opening of the bidding is a present for Bogota, which on Monday is celebrating the 480th anniversary of its founding.
“The metro is the biggest investment ever made in Bogota and the biggest individual investment that has been made in the country,” said the president, who on Tuesday will hand over the presidency to President-elect Ivan Duque.