Brazil is planning to begin construction on the R$1.2bn (US$687.9m) Rio de Janeiro metro Line 3 by the end of 2011.

Line 3 will be built by converting an existing 23km suburban rail alignment to metro standard, spanning Niterói, São Gonçalo and Itaboraí, and will include an underwater tunnel under Guanabara Bay.

The converted rail line will extend 37km and serve 16 stations.

The proposed project will be funded with R$400m (US$229.30m) from Petrobras as the company plans to improve transport to its petrochemical complex in Itaboraí.

The new line will reduce journey times between Niterói and Itaboraí from 85 minutes to 20 minutes and will carry between one and seven million passengers a year, according to