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New Manchester Metrolink operator confirmed

2017 marks the 25th anniversary of Manchester Metrolink. Image courtesy of T. Page.

KeolisAmey will take over the operation and maintenance of the UK’s Manchester Metrolink network from RATP Dev/MPT on 1 July, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) announced on 18 January.
The appointment follows a competitive process led by TfGM and the joint venture of international transport operator Keolis and infrastructure management specialist Amey (60% Keolis/40% Amey) beat completion from three other shortlisted bidders: incumbent RATP Dev, National Express and Transdev. The KeolisAmey partnership already operates and maintains London’s Docklands Light Railway, while Keolis is also the operator of Nottingham’s (Nottingham Express Transit) tramway.
The new contract will run for an initial period of seven years with an option for a further three to run until 2027.
The announcement comes in Metrolink’s silver jubilee year that will also see the completion of the Second City Crossing (2CC) across central Manchester and start of works on the new Trafford Park extension – expected to be operational by 2020-21.
Key features of the new contract include the creation of more than 300 jobs over the course of the contract to cater for the system’s growth; a focus on improving operational reliability, increasing headways and improved customer service and security with an increased staff presence on the network – particularly in the evening and at weekends; and a commitment to source a minimum of 40% of supplier contracts within 25 miles of Greater Manchester.