Three groups today submitted bids to NTA Metropolitan Mass Transit System Ltd. in the tender to operate the Greater Tel Aviv light rail red line. All the groups are Israeli-Chinese partnerships, after German company Deutsche Bahn and French company SNCF withdrew at the last minute. The tender is to operate the railway between Petah Tikva and Bat Yam for 10 years, with an option for six more years.
The groups filing bids were Egged Israel Transport Cooperative Society Ltd., together with China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) and Shenzhen Metro; Dan Bus Company, in partnership with Beijing Metro; and Derech Eretz Highways, in partnership with Guangzhou Metro. Announcement of the winner is scheduled for four months from now.
All the Chinese companies are owned by the Chinese government or Chinese municipalities, and have a great deal of experience in operating metro lines. Beijing Metro operates 19 lines in the Chinese capital, carrying 10 million passengers daily between 345 stations. Shenzhen Metro carries four million passengers on eight lines daily over 280 kilometers and 199 stations. Guangzhou Metro carries eight million passengers daily over 300 kilometers of track.
CCECC specializes in project management, among other things in civil engineering and construction of railway infrastructure. The company has vast experience in projects in Israel, among other things in digging the Carmel Tunnels and the Gilon Tunnels for the Akko-Karmiel line, and in digging the eastern part of the Greater Tel Aviv light rail tunnels.
NTA stated, "The tender for operation and maintenance includes the entire red line operational set-up, including training and hiring drivers and ticket takers and management of maintenance contractors for the carriages and railway systems and infrastructure… Selecting the operator at an early stage will enable NTA to prepare ahead of time to provide passengers with the highest level and most efficient service from the first days of operation."
Deutsche Bahn withdrew from the tender because of concern about the risk and NTA's refusal to postpone the deadline for submitting bids a fourth time. The German company had hoped to complete its bid in cooperation with Israeli partners Kavim and Connnect, which operates the Jerusalem light rail. SNCF withdrew at the last moment from the group with Dan and Beijing Metro.
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on April 19, 2017
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2017