Portugal has awarded a €170m ($233m) five-year contract to the ViaPORTO consortium to operate and maintain the Metro do Porto light rail network, starting from April.

The standard-gauge rail network, opened in 2002, covers five lines totalling 60km and 70 stations, and transports 50 million passengers annually, according to railwaygazette.com.

The ViaPORTO consortium includes Grupo Barraqueiro and Manvia, as well as international transport operators Arriva and Keolis.

Nearly 30 Bombardier Flexity Swift light rail vehicles have recently been launched on the Red line of the network, allowing more capacity in Eurotrams on the Blue and Green lines.