The Public Transport Regulatory Commission (PTRC) has shortlisted seven international bidders for the contract to build a 26-kilometre light railway between Amman and the industrial city of Zarqa. Requests for proposals (RFPs) for the estimated $100 million build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) contract will be sent to the selected teams in the first week of December, say sources at the PTRC. The bidders will then have until the end of February to submit technical and financial proposals for the project.
Seventeen companies expressed interest in the scheme, which is needed to meet increasing commuter and general passenger traffic between the two cities, which have a combined population of about three million. The majority of the twin-track electric railway will be constructed on the route of the existing Hijaz railway between Al-Mahatta station in Amman and Zarqa New Garden City. A three-kilometre extension planned for early 2009 will take the line along King Abdullah Street to the Raghadan terminal in Amman. The PTRC estimates the system will carry about 45,000 passengers a day in its first year. A feasibility study was prepared by Austria Rail Engineeringin 1996. The study was updated in 1998 and again in 2003 by Japan's Padecoand the local Consolidated Consultants(MEED 10:9:04).
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