In the city of Parla, near Madrid, an operating consortium was given a 40-year concession to run the light rail network. Loans of €80m were obtained from Caja Castilla La Mancha, which holds a 15% equity stake, and BNP Paribas to build the 8km line, which opened in 2007 at a cost of €140m. Four years later, the economics of operating the line have proved ruinous, as the municipal government has not yet paid its share of the construction cost.
The operating consortium, which is controlled by Globalvía, has accumulated debts of €47m. Maintenance partners Alstom and Metro de Madrid, are owed €6 million and have withdrawn from their contract, leaving the line in a very delicate situation.
In Seville, the LRT concessionaire has denounced the regional government for failing to cover operating losses of €155.9m incurred through a three-year delay to Line 1, which was finally completed in 2009.
The situation in Malaga is even worse. The launch of Line 1, originally planned for last November has been postponed until at least 2013. While partial opening has been suggested, it is calculated that the line would lose around €12m per year because ridership is unlikely to exceed 2000 passengers per day.
In Granada, work on a new network has been paralysed on numerous occasions. The first line was due to open this year, but services will not begin until next year at the earliest. Constructors have downed tools because contractors are owed €55m by the regional government.
Jaén's first light rail line has been unable to find a backer while in Aljarafe, near Seville, some work has been tendered but the project is unlikely to go ahead.