The Region of Waterloo is one step closer to awarding a contract to design, finance, build, operate and maintain the new light rail transit system.
A regional report to be made public today (Feb. 22) will reveal the shortlist of three consortiums in the running to win the estimated $550-million contract.
The three contenders were narrowed from a list of seven consortiums, each typically made up of engineers, financial advisors, transit operators and others.
Each of the three teams will have until about September or October to provide proposals, and the region could have a deal signed by March 2014.
The contract excludes providing the light rail vehicles themselves. The region has already decided to partner with Metrolinx on an order for Bombardier cars.
Whichever company is awarded the contract will have to finance some of the work itself. The region will hold back 25 per cent of the project’s capital costs, to be paid out over the first 30 years of LRT operation.