Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has shortlisted four companies who have successfully pre-qualified to bid to operate and maintain Metrolink from 2017, when the current contract ends.
The opportunity was advertised in early 2015, and following evaluation of pre-qualification questionnaires in July, KeolisAmey, National Express, Transdev and RATP Dev have been shortlisted for progression to the tender stage of the procurement process.
The new 10-year contract comes at an exciting time: 2017 marks Metrolink’s silver jubilee and will welcome the completion of the Second City Crossing (2CC), the final piece of a transformational expansion that has trebled the size of the original network.
Subject to the outcome of a public inquiry, work could also be well underway to further extend the network to Trafford Park.
Not only can the successful bidder expect to benefit from the expanded network, but also a large and modern fleet of trams that offer free Wi-Fi to passengers and a new level of operational resilience and flexibility afforded by 2CC.
As well as operating and maintaining the network, the successful bidder will be expected to deliver a high quality, safe, reliable and customer-focused service and support the many major events that are held frequently across Greater Manchester.
An invitation to negotiate will be issued in early 2016 and the contract is expected to be signed in January 2017. There will be a six-month mobilisation period with the new contract commencing in July 2017.
TfGM’s Chief Executive Dr Jon Lamonte said: “This is a truly exciting time for TfGM and the people of Greater Manchester and we are looking for a partner to work with us and realise the full benefits of the unprecedented growth and investment we are seeing across Metrolink.
“I am in no doubt that this is an excellent opportunity to take over the controls of the largest tram network in the country, an established Greater Manchester icon, and a symbol of Greater Manchester’s ardent ambition and appetite for growth.
“I am pleased to be able to share the shortlist publically and I look forward to working with KeolisAmey, National Express, Transdev and RATP Dev on this journey.”
About Transport for Greater Manchester
Transport policies that affect the ten districts of Greater Manchester are set by the new Greater Manchester Combined Authority and its Transport for Greater Manchester Committee.
Transport for Greater Manchester is the delivery arm for the elected body, responsible for investing your money in improving transport services and facilities, supporting the largest regional economy outside London.
It is our job to promote the choices you have to make your journey, from public transport to walking to cycling. We will provide you with the information - and the facilities - you need so you can make the decisions that best suit you.
We own Metrolink and are delivering a £1.4 billion expansion and improvement programme, providing new connections and new opportunities for Greater Manchester communities.
We pay for buses in areas where no commercial services are provided and help people such as the young and old travel at reduced fares. We also own Greater Manchester's bus stations, shelters and stops.
We are the voice of the passenger in securing rail services that match local travel needs.
On the roads, we look after the day to day management of traffic signals on Greater Manchester's major highways, helping people and goods get to where they need to go.
Our experts gather the information and provide the analysis that helps inform Greater Manchester's transport strategy and planning for a more sustainable future.