Initially services will operate on the 7.6km five-station Lapa – Retiro section of Line 1 between 1200 and 1600 with trains running at 10-minute intervals and free travel for passengers. However on match days access will be limited to football fans with tickets.
Frequencies and operating hours will be increased incrementally with the aim of launching the full timetable by September. Services will be extended over the remaining 4.3km section of Line 1 phase 1 between Retiro and Pirajá in January.
Construction began in 2000 but the project has suffered repeated delays as a result of contractual disputes and political wrangling, which ultimately resulted in the Bahia state government taking over responsibility for completing the line.
At the start of this year the state government signed a PPP contract with Brazilian infrastructure concessionaire CCR for the construction and operation of the second phase of the network. This includes the 24.2km east-west Line 2 from the city centre to the airport and the 5.6km section of Line 1 between Acesso Norte and Pirajá. The contract also includes preparations for the extension of Line 1 to Águas Claras.
Construction is expected to take three-and-a-half years to complete, and CCR will operate the network for 27 years.