AATE was originally, and is now, a central government agency, although it spent most of the 2000s in the hands of the Metropolitan Lima municipal government. However, the government decided that Line 1 should be privately operated. In 2011 a 30-year renewable concession was granted to a consortium of Graña y Montero, a Peruvian engineering company, and Ferrovías, concessionaire of suburban rail services in Buenos Aires.
Under GyM Ferrovías management, Line 1 has been running at its effective capacity of 320,000 passengers every weekday, while securing 80%+ approval ratings.
GyM Ferrovías is contracted by AATE to supply a minimum amount of train-kilometres each month, which requires use of both the five original Italian-made trains and 19 five-car Alstom Metrópolis sets delivered in 2011.
However, such is the demand for services that passenger access to platforms has to be filtered at certain stations to avoid overcrowding at peak hours. To alleviate the shortage of rolling stock, 20 additional six-car Metrópolis sets were ordered in July in a contract worth €200m, together with 19 extra cars to bring all up to a six-car formation. The new trains will also cut the current six-minute peak headway in half, increasing current capacity from 20,000 passengers per hour to 48,000. Delivery is scheduled for completion by 2019.
The fare charged for adults is a relatively modest Soles 1.50 ($US 0.44). Passengers pay by smartcard, with revenues going to AATE. Despite the cheap rides, general manager of GyM Ferrovías Mr Manuel Wu Rocha says that revenue covers some 75% of operating costs, rolling stock depreciation included, and almost 100% excluding it.
In comparison, the Municipal-sponsored Metropolitano, whose buses run over Lima´s Vía Expresa dedicated busway, charge Soles 2.50, which includes free transfers to or from feeder routes, which the Line 1 concessionaire is not allowed to participate in, thereby putting it at a competitive disadvantage. The fare on regular privately-operated buses is Soles 1.00. On regular buses passengers pay by coin to a roaming fare collector and by smartcard on the Metropolitano, but using different technology from that adopted for Line 1.
Although Line 1 passengers have little need to interchange with the Metropolitano, there is clearly a growing need for an integration of fares and fare payment systems in Lima.
Ms Jéssica Gonzales, AATE´s executive director, says that talks are ongoing to do this, but no agreement has so far been reached.
In 2010, the national government, which was once again headed by García, approved a plan for a five-line metro network for Lima. A sixth line was added in 2013, bringing the total planned length of 168km.
As Line 1 runs north-south, priority was given to the 27km Line 2, running from the municipality of Ate in the east, to Callao, host to Perú’s principal seaport, in the west, together with an 8km stretch of Line 4 from Line 2´s Carmen de la Legua station north to Nestor Gambeta, with an intermediate station at Lima’s international airport. Whereas Line 1 is entirely elevated or at grade, Line 2 is planned as an entirely underground. It has a price tag of $US 5.7bn, with 72% coming from government sources and the rest provided by the concessionaire.
In March 2014, a 35-year contract was awarded to the Nuevo Metro de Lima (NML) consortium, encompassing the design, financing, construction, delivery of rolling stock, operation and maintenance of Line 2 and the section of Line 4. NML consists of Peruvian, Spanish and Italian companies, including Cosapi, Impregilo, Iridium Concesiones de Infraestructura, Vialia Sociedad Gestora de Concesiones de Infraestructura, AnsaldoBreda (now Hitachi Rail Italy) and Ansaldo STS. Two other consortia prequalified but only NML made an offer considered valid.
The government has obtained loans from the IDB, Andean Development Corporation and, interestingly, the World Bank (IBRD) to cover 18% of its part of the cost. The IBRD contribution is notable since it initially opposed the government´s plans for Line 1 in the late 1980s, recommending BRT instead.
IBRD has carried out its own evaluation of the Line 2 project, estimating that it has an internal socioeconomic rate of return of 8.9%, even with a projected daily ridership of 361,000, which is considerably less than the 660,000 estimated by the government´s previous study.
However, construction is behind schedule and the project is being revised with the aim of avoiding cost overruns. Gonzales explains that a change has been made to the original idea to open the short 4.5km section between the stations of Mercado Santa Anita and Evitamiento by 2016-17. This, in itself, would be of no more use to the travelling public than the Villa El Salvador - Atocongo stretch of Line 1. Instead, it is proposed to inaugurate, the section from Santa Anita to 28 de Julio, which will be the interchange station with Line 1, in a single package during 2019. The first of 42 Hitachi Rail Italy six-car trains have already been delivered.
It was planned for the complete Line 2 to enter service by 2020, but IRJ infers that this is now unlikely to happen. Construction delays often go hand-in-hand with cost overruns and, given the hefty budget estimate for the project, ways to reduce costs are under consideration. These include elevating Line 4, and elevating or building the western sections of Line 2 at grade.
When Line 2 and the northern section of Line 4 does enter service, Lima will have a 70km metro network, crossing the city, from south to north and east to west, with a probable weekday ridership of at least a million users. Lima’s international airport will also be the first in South America to benefit from a metro connection, helping its case to become a leading regional business centre.