Joint venture to operate Greater Manchester’s Metrolink

18 January 2017  •  Author(s): Katie Sadler, Eurotransport

Transport for Greater Manchester has awarded a 10 year contract to operate Greater Manchester’s Metrolink network to a KeolisAmey joint venture partnership.

KeolisAmey joint venture to operate Greater Manchester’s Metrolink

(Credit: TfGM)

A joint venture between UK public transport operator Keolis, and infrastructure asset management specialist, Amey, has won a contract to operate the Metrolink network for a ten-year period. The joint venture will take over from RATP Dev and MPT at the end of July 2017.

Their appointment follows a competitive process led by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) involving three other shortlisted bidders, and has been ratified by Greater Manchester’s Combined Authority leaders.


The partnership currently operates London’s Docklands Light Railway (DLR), which caters for more than 117 million journeys a year. Keolis also operates Nottingham’s NET (Nottingham Express Transit) tram network, which has achieved the highest passenger satisfaction rating of all light rail networks in the country (98%), and runs the world’s largest tramway, Yarra Trams in Melbourne, Australia.

The partnership will take over a fleet of 120 modern trams that offer free Wi-Fi to passengers, and the Trafford Park Line extension – which is now under construction and expected to be operational by 2020/21.

Metrolink contract includes commitment to source 40 percent of supplier contracts within 25 miles

Details of the contract include the creation of more than 300 jobs including drivers, apprenticeships and traineeships as well as a commitment to enhance training for staff. There will also be a greater focus on improving operational reliability, and customer service and security through an increased staff presence. Furthermore, there will be a commitment to source a minimum of 40 percent of supplier contracts within 25 miles of Greater Manchester.

KeolisAmey joint venture to operate Greater Manchester’s Metrolink

From left: Steve Warrener, TfGM’s Director of Finance & Corporate Services; Alistair Gordon, Chief Executive Officer, Keolis UK; Dr Jon Lamonte, TfGM Chief Executive; Lee Jones, Sector Director Rail, Amey

Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the TfGM Committee, said: “This appointment firmly reinforces our commitment to delivering the very best for passengers, and to realising the full potential and benefits of the unprecedented growth and investment we are overseeing in the network.

“After investing so heavily in transforming the infrastructure, this was always going to be a pivotal appointment without compromise. What we have here is a long-term, affordable commitment to providing a world-class service.

“In reaching this decision, I would like to pay tribute to the operational staff who have played a crucial part in managing a period of great change with the delivery of the network’s expansion in recent years. The future looks very positive indeed.”

Speaking on behalf of KeolisAmey, Alistair Gordon, chief executive of Keolis UK, said: “Metrolink has made a huge contribution to Greater Manchester’s economic growth and its ongoing success will be a major factor in meeting the city region’s ambitions.

“KeolisAmey represents a proven combination of operational and technical excellence, which has succeeded in raising the already very high standards of punctuality and customer service on the DLR.

“We’re confident that we can bring the same success to Metrolink, delivering the highest levels of performance and customer satisfaction for the benefit of Greater Manchester’s travelling public.”

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