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City-News Archive

Castellón [ES] - Tender Published, Construction Delayed

K. Budach - 03.06.13

The tender for the operating concession has now been launched. From an economic perspective, however, there are rather unfavorable conditions for any bidder.
Six vehicles have to be procured by the concessionaires. Articulated vehicles are called for -at an estimated 850 000 EUR per vehicle. In addition, the bidder has to pay the cost for the installation of optical guidance, which is estimated at approximately EUR 800,000. In return the operator will receive the right and the obligation to run the operation for 15 years. In addition to the fares, the operator will get a subsidy of approximately EUR 16.4 million, depending on the offers received. However, the government reserves the right to postpone the annual subsidy by up to two years in the event of 'budget difficulties'. But this condition makes the project difficult to evalulate for any potential bidder. The tender for the unopened tram line 2 in Alicante - like Castellón part of the Region of Valencia - recently failed under similar circumstances. Ultimately only the intervention of the Regional Government through additional funding will enable the commencement of operations.
As previously reported, in Castellón construction of the extension of route 1 to the port of Grao has been completed. Only a short section (less than 1 km long) remains to be completed.
Tendering for a second route and the extension of the first route to Benicassim, both in the context of BOOT (Build Own Operate Transfer) model, could not be completed for lack of bidders. As investment funds from the public sector are unavailable for the foreseeable future, neither project can be implemented immediately. Commissioning of route 1 from the University to Grao will mean that only a length of 8 km from the original planned 40 km project for guided trolleybuses will come to fruition in the foreseeable future.

Translation: Martin Wright

Photo: Siemens optical tracking ensures a virtually gap-free approach to stops. Photographer: Dirk Budach

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