3 December 2020

The Niteroi tramway comes to fruition, a project driven by CODATU Technical Cooperation

CODATU supported the States of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro from 2017 to 2019 in their sustainable urban mobility projects, in collaboration with the French Development Agency (AFD). This technical cooperation has resulted in participatory workshops, expert visits, short-lived projects and funding for pre-investment studies. It has made it possible to stimulate and orient several innovative projects carried out by the Brazilian authorities, including that of the Niteroi tramway (also called VLT). One year after the finalization of this cooperation, let’s come back to this project, the feasibility study of which was launched this month.

French cooperation supported the Municipality of Niteroi in the identification of the tram project

French cooperation, in connection with the Municipality of Niteroi for several years, coordinated the participation of the Mayor and some of his officials in a technical visit to Bordeaux in 2016. It was an opportunity for them to discover the tram network of this French city and understand the challenges and advantages.

During the technical cooperation financed by AFD, the CODATU team worked closely with the team from the Municipality of Niteroi to clarify the objectives of the tram project. She notably supported the drafting of the terms of reference for the pre-feasibility study.

Niteroi is a city of approximately 480,000 inhabitants, and represents the second economic hub of the Metropolitan Region of Rio de Janeiro (RMRJ). The future tram line will be connected to the BHNS Transoceânica line and two maritime shuttle stations that link Niteroi to the city of Rio de Janeiro. It will pass through the city center and the districts located along the bay which constitute the densest areas of Niteroi, but also through the districts of the northern sector of the city, up to the geographical limit with São Gonçalo, the municipality neighbor.

The pre-feasibility study was finalized in 2018

The pre-feasibility study for the Niteroi tramway project was financed by AFD and carried out in 2018 by the consortium made up of Egis Rail, Egis Engenharia e Consultoria and Sinergia. This includes a demand study, identification of the route and mode of transport as well as an economic, technical and institutional analysis of the project. CODATU provided its support to the Municipality of Niteroi in the follow-up of this study, the revision of the deliverables and the exchanges with the consultant.

This study established that the tram is the most suitable mode to meet the demand of 5,700 pphpd (in rush hour), as well as the requirements of comfort, safety, environmental impacts and urban improvement. The consultant also drew attention to the need to then work on the rationalization of municipal and intermunicipal bus lines, the development of a coherent mass transport network (bus lanes, metro and new metropolitan terminal), and on the establishment of a mechanism for capturing land capital gains to finance the project.

The feasibility study is launched this month

The technical, economic and environmental feasibility study of the Niteroi tramway project is financed by a FASEP (Fund for Studies and Assistance to the Private Sector) from the French government and managed by CAF. The call for tenders took place in August 2020 and the winning consortium is the one led by the DVDH consulting firm, associated with SCE, Transamo, Richez_Associés and independent Brazilian consultants. The study is launched this month in Niteroi and, based on the results of the pre-feasibility study, the objectives of this study are to: – promote the development of a sustainable public transport system in accordance with the socio-economic realities of the city, – establish the business model and the operating strategy that will maximize the return on investment, – and improve the mobility of inhabitants by paying particular attention to vulnerable populations.