Bursa municipality has been forced to suspend its ambitious metro project indefinitely by the austerity review under way at the treasury. An award had been expected on 13 June to one of three competing groups (MEED 11:3:94).

Representatives of the groups have protested against the decision. In a second round of tendering in February, bids of about $290 million were returned by a group of the local Guris with Italy’s Ansaldo and Breda Costruzioni Ferroviari, and France’s Sofretu; and a group of locals, Bayindir, Simko and Yuksel, with Germany’s Siemens. The third bidder was Germany’s AEG with the local Sezai Turkes-Feyzi Akkaya.

The 14.5 kilometre first-phase of the metro is planned to run from the city’s industrial zone via a central inter-city bus terminal at Sirameseler to the Sehrekusu district. The metro master plan calls for five stages to be built over 20 years.

The decision has also raised questions over the fate of plans for a $300 million, 20-kilometre light rail mass transit for the city of Adana in the southeast. The municipality has extended the closing date for turnkey construction bids to 20 July, since the treasury has yet to approve external borrowing.