Light train Tenerife, Spain


Line 1 of Metrotenerife, the light train in the island of Tenerife (Spain), was designed and constructed to solve the rising demands of public transport services in the island. Metrotenerife connects the cities of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and San Cristóbal de la Laguna, improving the access to the areas of economic activity and main tourist spots, reducing traffic congestion and pollution.


Cabildo Insular de Tenerife (regional government) used an Institutional Public-Private Partnership to deploy the infrastructure and the operation and maintenance of the light train. The contract included an innovative framework of knowledge transfer from the private company to the public sector through the concessionaire ownership structure in which the public sector owned 80% of the shares and 20% of the shares were owned by the private sector.

SDG Impact:

SDG 7:      Affordable and clean energy as Metrotenerife network uses a source of energy that does not generate greenhouse emissions.

SDG 9:      Industry, innovation and infrastructure as the city increases its public infrastructure stock. Metrotenerife increases the public transport options for residents and tourist increasing job and education opportunities.

SDG 11:   Sustainable cities and communities as the infrastructure increases the availability of clean public transport reducing private vehicle use and the use of fuel propelled transport buses (guaguas in the local slang).

SDG 13:   Climate action resulting from the use of non-greenhouse emission source of energy.

SDG 17:   Partnerships for the goals. The public and the private sector owned the concessionaire. The private sector designs, build, finances, and operates the public transport system. That allow the public sector to benefit from private sector know-how and international experience while transferring some risk.

Compliance with UNECE People-first PPP criteria:

With the new tramway system, the city improves the existing public transport network offering better transport services to both residents and tourist in an environmentally friendly transport mode. The project:

  • Increased access to public transport to residents
  • Improved the sustainability of the public transport system by using non-greenhouse emissions mode


More information

This case study aspires to be People-first Public-Private Partnerships project and is published as received from the proponents.