Looking beyond their own countries, foreign investors are showing interest in transit projects in Tel Aviv and Beijing.
The Tel Aviv Mass Transit System is scheduled to start operation in 2009. The 14-mile Red Line would be the first of four lines that will become Israel’s largest civilian project. It will be constructed under the build-operate-transfer method, and the winner will construct, operate and maintain the railway and its stations for 32 years.
Bidding on the Jerusalem Light Railway concession is the City Pass group, comprising Alstom, Elco Ltd., Ashtrom Ltd., Poalim Investments and the international consortium CGEA. Also bidding is the Pasim group, composed of Siemens, Africa-Israel, Feuchtwanger Industries, Uestra and the Canadian Highways Investment Corp.
The government will guarantee revenue to the concession holder based on a forecast of more than 100 million passengers a year for the Red Line and 60 million riders for the second line, the Green Line. The Red Line will bring an estimated 8,000 new jobs. The entire rail system will have 42 miles of track and 117 stations, nine of which will be underground.
Foreign investors have also shown interest at the prospect of large-scale transport projects in Beijing.
The Beijing Construction Engineering Co. Ltd. and Germany’s Bilfinger Berger AG invested an additional $9 million to their joint venture in the city.
Beijing will invest $10.84 billion to build 93 miles of rail lines in an attempt to be in the running to host the 2008 Olympic Games.