Cost, schedule of San Juan LRT deal detailed

A light rail public-private partnership in San Juan, Puerto Rico, will cost $470m. A RFQ is due in October.

Procurement on a projected $473 million light rail project in San Juan is set to begin with a request for qualifications (RFQ) next month, a municipal government official said.

The October RFQ will be followed with a request for proposals (RFP), scheduled for winter, San Juan executive director Lourdes Rovira revealed in a media conference call Thursday.

The question and answer briefing followed a press announcement last Thursday naming Macquarie Capital and Mayer Brown to direct the light rail transit (LRT) public-private partnership (PPP).

Rob Valentine, a senior vice president with Macquarie who joined Rovira on the call, hinted the RFP would be published before 2013. But Valentine and Rovira would not detail project funding. “That will be in the RFP,” Valentine said.

Macquarie executive Valentine went on to characterise the light rail as a design, build, finance, operate, and maintain (DBFOM) project with a “civil component”.

The project will encompass a 24-train fleet, a maintenance centre as well as the light rail itself, costing $365 million. In addition, the project will also include a 5,000-space parking garage network with a $107 million price tag. Valentine stressed the total $473 million project is considered a single PPP.

LRT for San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico, is part of a proposed $3 billion infrastructure programme to better accommodate business and tourism.

The light rail project, first considered in 2010, is called SATOUR, short for San Juan Automated Urban Transit System. SATOUR would follow Tren Urbano, a 10-mile rapid transit line opened in 2004. San Juan has said that SATOUR would transport 29,000 people a day by 2030.

Macquarie, headquartered in Australia, abetted the Puerto Rico Public-Private Partnerships Authority (PPPA) in developing its PPP programme, which has resulted in a toll road concession and airport lease.

Law firm Mayer Brown, meanwhile, has acted as legal adviser to the PPPA, and has LTR experience.