Detroit’s M-1 RAIL is now accepting proposals from companies to manage the operations and maintenance of the streetcar system.
The Request for Proposal (RFP) has been posted to M-1 RAIL.com with a due date of April 16, 2015. It will also be available on the American Public Transportation Association website.
“Passengers want a reliable, safe and clean experience and the operator of the line will be a catalyst for that,” said Paul
Childs, chief operating officer of M-1 RAIL. “The contractor we select will begin working with us at least 12-months in advance of streetcar operations; they will be instrumental in developing processes and procedures for operations and fulfilling all of the obligations required by Federal, state and city government agencies.”
Childs said the management responsibilities of the contractor M-1 RAIL selects will include hiring operators; scheduling and training team members; developing standards of practice for customer service, safety and fare collections; maintenance of track, switch, signals and platforms; washing/cleaning vehicles; vehicle maintenance; substations, overhead contact systems/charging bars maintenance; and report preparation.
Childs said the M-1 RAIL team benchmarked streetcar lines and operations in other cities such as Tucson and New Orleans for insight on the use of third-party operators. Kansas City, Oklahoma City and Washington D.C. are also planning to use a third party provider once their streetcar systems are complete.
The duration of the initial contract will be five years, with M-1 RAIL having the option to renew it for an additional two-to-five years. It is expected to cost around $5 million annually to operate the M-1 RAIL streetcar system.