Santiago’s $500m bus contract drawing international interest

SANTIAGO — Chile’s transportation minister Paola Tapia has said different European and Asian companies are showing their interest in a $500 million contract to replace 3,300 vehicles and overhaul the public bus network in Chilean capital.

The country has received interest from companies in China, France, Spain, England, Australia, Mexico and Brazil to revamp the Santiago’s existing bus network, according to the minister.

Double-decker buses coming to Santiago

She revealed the Transport ministry wants to award the contract before March, when the current government ends.

The minister added she thinks this business opportunity has to do not only with arriving in Chile, but also expanding to other countries throughout the region.

Chile, like neighboring Argentina, is trying to attract private investment to improve its ports, roads and airports, and two major candidates in November’s presidential election have also pledged to dramatically expand the nation’s transport network.

‘Third Millennium’: Chile’s Pinera offers $7.5b infrastructure plan

Under the new plan, half of the “Transantiago” transport system will be modernized with some 3,300 buses — a more modern, environmentally friendly fleet that will include at least 90 electric vehicles.

Transantiago is considered the most ambitious transport reform undertaken by a developing country according to the World Resources Institute.