December 27, 2011

San Diego transit renews Veolia light rail contract

Veolia Transportation was recently awarded a two-year contract extension for operations and maintenance of San Diego-based North Country Transit District’s (NCTD) Sprinter service.  Sprinter, the light rail transit operation, is one of three multimodal services NCTD provides commuters to travel safely and efficiently throughout the county.

The two-year contract extension, approved during the Nov. 17 board of directors meeting of the NCTD, calls for Veolia Transportation to manage the Sprinter service through December 2014 with an additional 18-month extension — with the board’s discretion — through June 30, 2016.   The original contract with Veolia was approved by the agency in April 2006.

The NCTD Sprinter route covers 22 miles from Oceanside to Escondido with 15 station stops for passengers and is part of San Diego’s regional transportation network. NCTD moves more than 12 million passengers annually by providing public transportation for North San Diego County.

The NCTD board and staff chose to renew the contract because of Veolia’s commitment to assisting the District battle financial challenges while providing commuters with outstanding service, near perfect on-time performance, and record ridership. NCTD’s Board minutes noted key achievements during the first four years Sprinter operations that reflect Veolia’s commitment to service:

•    Service on-time performance percentage averaged over 99%.

•    Quality of the service is high, and Sprinter riders are very satisfied:  fewer than four complaints per 100,000 passengers.

•    Fare recovery ratio has increased steadily over the last three years and now stands at 18.3%.

•    Record-breaking ridership has occurred in recent months, with averages of over 10,000 passengers per weekday. FY 11 had a new high in annual ridership of 2,219,825.

•    Sprinter has established successful Friday and Saturday night service.

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