The organisation's director, Mr Julio Estrada, says this process will take six months to complete and will be followed by the issue of the full concession in the second half of next year.

The 30km line will cross the city from north to south and make use of an existing line that has been out of operation for the last 10 years. The cost of rehabilitating infrastructure and procuring rolling stock is estimated at $US 80-120m.

The initiative will be funded entirely by the private sector, with the private contractor reliant on recouping its investment from fares. A pre-feasibility study involving subsidiaries of Spanish passenger operator Renfe has already been completed and shows that the line must attract around 70,000 passengers per day to be profitable. As a result Estrada says the government will have to guarantee minimum traffic levels.

At present 270,000 people use buses along the same North-South route to reach the city centre on a journey that takes 2h 30min. With the rail link in place, this could fall to just 25 minutes.

Anadie is also considering introducing a second 20km East-West line. However, with no existing alignment in place, the cost has been estimated at $US 400m. As a result passengers would likely have to pay commercial ticket prices, which would mean structuring the concession to reflect this.