France’s Egis Rail is the preferred bidder for a contract to prepare feasibility studies, preliminary designs and tender documents for Amman’s $1.2bn light rail transit (LRT) or metro project.

If awarded, Egis will start feasibility studies for the first line of the LRT network. These studies will decide whether the project goes ahead as an LRT or a metro system, a source clsoe to the project said.

Other bidders include the UK’s Arup, Team International from Lebanon and local Jordanian firms Consolidated Consultants and Dar Al Omran.

Jordan’s Ministry of Transport is expected to award the contract in the first quarter of 2010.

The project, some of which will be underground, will operate on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis.

These studies will decide whether the project goes ahead as an LRT or a metro system, the source said.

The first phase of the metro will link downtown Raghadan to University of Jordan Street.

Phase two will involve expanding the metro line to link up with the airport.

The project is expected to be completed in 2013.