The total value of the turnkey contract, which was awarded following a competitive tender, could be up to $US 38m if Sorta exercises all options for extensions.

The $US 148m line will form a loop through the city centre from Second Street to Henry Street with 18 stations.

CAF USA has begun production of a fleet of five low-floor three-section LRVs for the first phase of the network at its plant in Elmira, New York, while infrastructure works are at an advanced stage along much of the line.