March 7, 2014

Keolis awarded $2.6 billion contract to run MBTA commuter rail

After a highly competitive review, Keolis North America has been awarded a $2.6 billion, eight-year contract to manage, operate and maintain the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) commuter rail service.

The MBTA contract awarded to Keolis Commuter Services, a division of Keolis North America, is the single largest public transportation contract in the country. It includes the option for two additional two-year extensions. If the extensions are granted, the total contract value would rise to $4.2 billion over 12 years.

“The MBTA is looking forward to this partnership as we launch an exciting new era in Commuter Rail service,” said MBTA GM Dr. Beverly A. Scott. “The new Commuter Rail contract will lead to an enhanced customer experience, more effective management and greater operator accountability.” 

Dr. Scott said customer benefits will be realized in a number of key areas including on-time performance, vehicle reliability, cleanliness, fare collection and communications.

The MBTA, also commonly known in Massachusetts as “The T,” is the fifth-largest rail system in the U.S. It serves approximately 127,000 passengers daily with 13 lines, 671 track miles, 134 stations, and 500 daily trains.

In winning the contract, Keolis North America unseated the longtime incumbent operator, Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Co. (MBCR), who recently asked a judge to halt the contract.

Keolis North America has a strong record of success with VRE since unseating the incumbent operator and beginning service in 2010. Since that time, ridership, customer satisfaction, and on-time performance for the VRE system have all reached record highs.

Keolis North America will begin operating the MBTA commuter rail line on July 1, 2014.

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