Court denies appeal to overturn Stockholm metro contract

A bid by France’s Veolia Transport to contest its loss of a contract to operate the Stockholm metro has been rejected by a Swedish court, the company announced on Thursday.

“The Stockholm county administrative court decided today that the tender offer for the Stockholm metro will not be redone,” Veolia said in a statement.

It said it would consider whether to appeal the ruling to a higher court.

Veolia Transport, which has operated Stockholm’s subway for nine years, lost the €1.9 billion ($2.45 billion) eight-year contract to Hong Kong company MTR on January 20.

The contract, which is due to start on November 2, includes a possible extension for an additional six years.

Stockholm Public Transport (SL) said at the time that MTR had “submitted the best bid from a quality standpoint and that was decisive in this procurement.”

But Veolia appealed the decision, saying MTR’s bid was the most expensive.

“It chose the most expensive of the bidders which will cost taxpayers in Stockholm 2.5 billion kronor ($298 million) and we think that this difference is not justified by the difference in quality with the other offers, including ours,” Veolia chief executive Tomas Wallin told AFP at the time of its appeal.

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Social Democrats call for Malmö underground system

Malmö’s Social Democrats have backed plans to build an underground railway in the city which could then be connected to Copenhagen through a tunnel under the Öresund straits.

Social Democrats call for Malmö underground system
The Copenhagen Metro in Örestad, near to the Öresund Straits. Photo: Johan Nilsson / TT / Kod
Malmö mayor Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh wants the city to begin drawing up plans for an underground railway with at least five stops: Malmö Central, Södervärn, Värnhem, Västra Hamnen and Nyhamnen. 
“We need to plan for a traffic system where we take into account being a city of half a million people,” she told the local Sydsvenskan newspaper. 
“And the traffic system needs to be able to handle more than just those who live in Malmö because we represent 50 percent of the growth in new jobs in Skåne and in addition are experiencing growing tourism.” 
Stjernfeldt Jammeh said that if her party manages to hold onto power after Sunday’s election, she aimed to push forward with the plans even before an investment decision over the Öresund Metro link. 
“There is a good reason in going underground, because we need to be economical with space on the surface,” she said. 
Sweden’s Liberal Party was the first to suggest building an underground in Malmö, with the Social Democrats instead pushing for a tram network until the plan was voted down by the centre-Right Alliance in Skåne’s regional government.