The consortium, which comprises Arup, Bechtel, Bombardier, Ellis-Don, Fengate Capital Management, IBI Group, and Transdev, was selected from three shortlisted bidders following an 18-month procurement process.

The 13.1km 11-station Valley Line will link Mill Woods Town Centre with 102 Street in the city centre and is initially expected to carry around 31,500 passengers per day. The city says it expects to reach financial close by February, with construction beginning soon afterwards. Commissioning is scheduled for late-2020 and services will be operated by a fleet of 40.6m-long Bombardier Flexity low-floor LRVs, which will accommodate up to 275 passengers, 82 of them seated.

The total budget for the project is $C 1.8bn ($US 1.4bn), with $C 800m coming from the City of Edmonton and the Alberta provincial government providing $C 600m. The Canadian government will contribute $C 400m through PPP Canada and the New Building Canada Fund.

The city says the PPP structure transfers significant risks for budget, implementation schedule, operating performance, and maintenance to the private sector. "We feel confident that TransEd Partners shares Edmonton's vision for its future, and is the right partner to bring this vision to life," says acting city manager Mrs Linda Cochrane. "The procurement process has been very robust and the final deal is one that offers strong value for taxpayers."

Edmonton LRT map