CCR-led Consortium Wins Rio de Janeiro’s Olympic Rail

A consortium led by a subsidiary of Brazil’s CCR SA, Latin America’s biggest highway manager by market value, won the tender for the light rail train that forms part of Brazilian government’s plan to transform Rio de Janeiro’s historic center and port area in time for the 2016 summer Olympic games.

The consortium was the sole bidder, offering 1.6 billion reais ($800 million), Luiz Carlos de Souza Lobo, director of operations of Rio de Janeiro’s port development company, said by telephone. Other consortium members include Odebrecht TransPort, Invepar, RioPar, RATP’s local subsidiary, and Benito Roggio e Hijos SA.

The federal government will provide 500 million reais for the project, known as VLT, through its Growth Acceleration Program (PAC), and the remainder will be financed through a public-private partnership. The VLT will have six lines and 42 stations, according to CDURP’s website. While the city plans for the works to be complete in time for the games, no sporting events will take place in the downtown area.

The VLT is an urban transport solution that could have been applied more broadly in Rio, Chris Gaffney, visiting professor at the Graduate School of Architecture and Urbanism at Brazil’s Universidade Federal Fluminense, said by telephone from Rio.

“It is the first VLT being done, and I hope it is the first in a series,” said Jorge Luiz de Souza Arraes, Rio’s deputy secretary of strategic projects and public/private partnerships. “The area needs some means of transport integrated with other means, and no other area of the city has such good characteristics for this project.”