Bogotá goes to London to find investors for $5bn metro plan

Colombian officials visited London this week to present their plans for the first line of Bogotá’s metro and to solicit expressions of interest from potential bidders.

The three-day event was hosted by Enrique Peñalosa, the mayor of the Colombian capital, as well as managers from the Bogotá Metro Company (EMB) and the National Development Bank (FDN).

Andrés Escobar, the head of EMB, said London was the "perfect place" to attract interest from European and Asian companies. Among those present were Spanish infrastructure specialists such as Sacyr and Acciona.

The meeting coincides with a request for expressions of interest for companies to participate in a tender process. The Colombians are looking for partners to build, operate and part-finance the first section of Line 1 of the metro.

The line is expected to cost between $4bn and $5bn, of which $3bn will be supplied by the government of Colombia and $1.3bn by the municipality of Bogotá.

The line will travel 24km through the city, which has a population of some 8 million, and was named by traffic data agency INRIX as one the 15 worst capitals for congestion in the world.

The line is expected to have 16 stations and to serve about 72,000 passengers a day.

The deadline to respond is 17 May 2018.

Image: Bogotá depends on its bendy buses for mass transit (Felipe Restrepo Acosta/Creative Commons)

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