In late October, the European Investment Bank (EIB) signed an agreement for financing arrangements for the EUR600M (US$801M) extension to the Toulouse metro in France.

Jean-Luc Moudenc, President of the Syndicat Mixte de Transport en Commun de l’agglomération toulousaine (Tisséo-SMTC) who is also the mayor of Toulouse and Philippe de Fontaine Vive, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank, signed the agreement on 22 October that summarises the financing arrangements for the extension of the Toulouse metro (extended line A and line B).

Toulouse’s first metro line, line A, extended 9.6km in an east-west alignment and was built between 1990 and 1993, serving 15 stations. An extension to line A of 2.6km to serev an additional three stations was recently completed. The 15.8km line B is currently under construction and is due to be completed in 2007. It runs along a north-south route and serves 20 stations. With virtually all of the extent of the lines underground, automatic, driverless light metro trains running on rubber tyres have been selected. A total of 47 trains with an individual capacity of 156 seats are required.

The financing also involves five major partner banks of Tisséo-SMTC: Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, Caisse d’Epargne, Dexia Crédit Local, Société Générale, Crédit Agricole S.A. and the Royal Bank of Scotland.