Alckmin to cancel tender for the Lilac Line

This decision should make it unfeasible to have the whole project ready by 2014, which is the last year of Governor Alckmin’s term and when the World Cup shall be held in the country. The impression we get is that it shall be very unlikely that the tender can be used. It shall probably be necessary to make a new tender, declared Geraldo Alckmin.

The suspected fraud was unveiled after the Folha de São Paulo newspaper had revealed, last October, that this newspaper already knew the winners of the different sections of the tender, six months in advance. This tip-off led to the suspension of the process for hiring the companies for Line 5, at the end of the tenure of Alberto Goldman (PSDB) as State Governor. One month ago, the State Board of Courts (Corregedoria do Estado) also completed its analyses, confirming evidence of collusion between the companies that came out winners in the tender.

The extension of Line 5 seeks to connect Largo Treze station to Chácara Klabin, with 11 new stations over a track length of 12 km. The schedule for this work – which is planned to take three years and eight months – was already considered as a trifle tight by Alckmin’s team, to be ready in time for the World Cup.

Tight Schedule

During the transition period, before being appointed as the new Secretary for Metropolitan Transport, Jurandir Fernandes said that, were the tender to be cancelled, a new tender would take at least six months to organize, due to the bureaucratic process – and this would practically rule out the delivery of the Lilac Line (Line 5) by 2014.

Even half a month of delay causes harm, Mr. Fernandes told the Folha at that time. The engineer had already been the holder of the same position in Governor Alckmin’s previous term and was one of the right-hand men of the tucano (social democrat) during his campaign and also during the transition phase.

Governor Alckmin said yesterday that the companies in the running for Line 5 – and which all deny any irregularities – may also lodge an appeal before the Subway Company (Metrô) makes its decision. However, he added that the initial decision was that of annulment.

The PSDB Government has now started to look into the possibility of running another tender by means of a Public-Private Partnership (PPP), similar to the one used for the Yellow Line (Line 4). The proposal is currently being studied.

In this case, some technicians consider it feasible (albeit difficult) that there could be the granting of incentive packages so that private enterprise may speed up part of the construction work – so that at least some of the stations could be ready within four years.

Specialists, however, play down the importance of Line 5 specifically for the World Cup, yet stress the line’s importance for the daily travel needs of the population.

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