A joint venture partnership of UK public transport operator, Keolis, and infrastructure asset management specialist, Amey, has been named as the new operator of the Greater Manchester Metrolink light rail network.

The partners will operate and maintain the network – which is now the largest of its kind in the UK – from July 2017.  The contract will run for up to ten years.

The appointment follows a competitive process led by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), which involved three other shortlisted bidders.

KeolisAmey currently runs the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) in London, which boasts one of the best performance and reliability records in UK rail. The JV partners will bring their proven expertise to provide a high-quality, customer-focused service to the 37 million passengers who use the Metrolink system every year.

Alistair Gordon, chief executive of Keolis UK, said: “We welcome this opportunity to bring our expertise to bear on the Greater Manchester Metrolink network and provide an excellent public transport service to the city and surrounding areas.

“Our international experience tells us that a reliable, safe and customer-focused transport network is a crucial part of the engine for economic growth. We will build on Metrolink’s success and ensure we provide the support to help meet the city region’s social and economic ambitions. We look forward to working closely with TfGM to deliver the highest levels of performance and customer satisfaction in the coming years.

“This contract award underlines the success of our long term strategy to develop a presence across all sectors of British transport and marks another significant milestone in our growing partnership with Amey.”

Andy Milner, Amey’s Chief Executive, said:
“We’ve worked in the Manchester region for many years and know how significant Metrolink has been in supporting the growth and outstanding success of the region as a whole.”