BYD has signed a deal to build its SkyRail in Salvador, Brazil in a project that will be the first of its kind for the manufacturer in Latin America. Construction is due to begin within six months with the system fully operational by 2021.
The 20km route alongside the coast, will be partially built above the sea to connect Salvador’s central business district to São João Island, with a capacity of 150,000 passengers per day. It will connect with the existing subway, providing seamless transportation for the city of 2.9 million residents.
“With the VLT, the suburban population will have a fast, comfortable mode of transport that also opens space for the development of the city,” says governor Rui Costa. “New businesses will develop and we will attract enterprises to build commercial, residential, leisure and job-generating facilities. From a new transportation system, we will also have opportunities for growth.”
Stella Li, senior vice president, BYD , adds: “BYD is delighted to bring its cutting-edge transport solutions to Brazil’s third-largest city, which urgently needs adequate public transport to support its growing population.
“SkyRail is a zero emission and autonomous mode of transport, offering some of the best technologies available to Salvador. In addition, this will also re-create urban areas as well as generate development in the region.”
A BYD-led consortium, consisting of BYD Brazil and Metrogreen, first won the bid for the contract in May 2018. The consortium will be responsible for the implementation and operation of the system, with the work to be carried out through a Public-Private Partnership.
Launched in October 2016 after five years of research and development, SkyRail features an automated driving system and is currently operational in the western Chinese city of Yinchuan.