Spanish construction group Acciona Infrastructure was awarded the phase 1 contract for the 22.5km, 15 station line at the beginning of November and preliminary construction works are now underway at several locations in the city. The phase 2 contract is currently being tendered and covers construction of tunnels, some of the stations, and electrical and mechanical systems. Tunneling work is due to begin next August.

Half of the $US 1.38bn budget is being financed by international institutions including the European Investment Bank, the Latin American Development Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. The remaining funds will come from the municipality and from loans provided by the Ecuadorian Social Security Bank, as well as from suppliers.

The line is due to be completed in the third quarter of 2016 and commercial operations are expected to begin in early 2017. Services will be operated by a fleet of 18 trains and the line will carry around 400,000 passengers per day, with an end-to-end journey time of around 30 minutes.