BOGOTA, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- Chinese railway construction consortium APCA Transmimetro has won the bid to build the first subway in Bogota, Colombian President Ivan Duque announced on Thursday.
"This is the beginning of the subway (construction) the city has yearned for decades," said Duque, adding that the project will bring development, employment, opportunities and competitiveness to Bogota, the capital of Colombia.
The 24-km subway line, which will link southwestern and northern part of the city, is designed with 16 stations, 10 of which are transfer stations connected to Bogota's bus rapid transit system.
The project entails "eight urban development mega-structures for the benefit of the entire city," said Duque. "That is what makes the project emblematic and unique."
The president underscored the transparency of the bidding process, saying it was backed by the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and the European Investment Bank.
Bogota Mayor Enrique Penalosa praised the consortium's success in securing the bid of "this very important project," given its extensive experience.
"We are undertaking this project with the Chinese. They are experts in building subways," Penalosa said.
The fully electric subway system will meet the highest environmental standards and become a fundamental part of the city's modernization drive, he said.
The consortium, comprised of China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd. and Xi'an Metro Company Ltd., will be responsible for the design, construction, equipment supply, procurement and maintenance of the subway.
It will also be in charge of the subway's operation for the next 20 years.