The contract has been awarded to GrandLinq, a consortium comprising Plenary Group Canada; Meridiam Infrastructure Waterloo; Aecon; Kiewit; Mass Electric Construction Canada; Keolis; STV Canada Construction and CIBC World Markets.

Keolis will operate and maintain the line for 30 years and expects the contract to generate revenues of $C 550m over the duration of the concession. Aecon says its share of the contract is worth approximately $US 250m.

The 19km 16-station line will run from Conestoga Mall in Waterloo to Fairview Park Mall in Kitchener. Construction will begin this month and the line is due to open in 2017. Services will be operated by a fleet of 14 Bombardier Flexity Freedom LRVs (pictured).

Ridership is forecast to be around 27,000 passengers in the first full year of operation, rising to 56,000 by 2031.

Ontario has committed up to $C 300m in funding, bolstered by Canadian federal government funding of $C 265m and regional contributions of $C 253m.

The regional government says the contract was awarded to Grandlinq in March, but the final short-term and long-term financing costs were not finalised until May 6.