Transport for Greater Manchester extends Metrolink operator contract until 2027

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Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has welcomed an extension to the Metrolink Operations and Maintenance contract with KeolisAmey Metrolink Ltd (KAM), which will see the company continue to operate and maintain the UK’s largest tram network from July 2024 until July 2027.

The new contract has an increased emphasis on operational performance together with more planned network improvements, while also committing more frontline staff to tackle fare evasion and antisocial behaviour.

KAM has been the operator and maintainer of Metrolink since July 2017. Several significant milestones have been achieved in partnership with TfGM during this period, including:

  • Record high performance levels, which have allowed passenger numbers to recover post-Covid, with passenger numbers expected to exceed pre-pandemic levels this year.
  • Service enhancements, which have allowed Metrolink to run more services than ever before, with operated mileage across the network having increased by over 20%.
  • Introduction of TravelSafe Officers on Metrolink and enhanced partnership working with Greater Manchester Police and other agencies.
  • Improved customer satisfaction, with the independent Institute of Customer Service identifying Metrolink as one of 20 most improved organisations nationally across all sectors,
  • Successfully introducing 27 new trams to provide improved service capacity and resilience.
  • The opening of the Trafford Park Line in 2020.

This extension looks to further strengthen the success of the partnership resulting in continued improvements to the customer offering, including:

  • An even greater emphasis on operational performance.
  • An enhanced focus on revenue protection and security across the network.
  • A commitment to further invest in the existing network to ensure it benefits from the latest technology developments.
  • Refreshed social impact ambitions to maximise its support of the local community.

The extended contract will also be overseen by Damien Chabas, who was appointed by KAM as its new Managing Director in August 2023.

Metrolink is a key part of Greater Manchester’s Bee Network – the region’s vision for a London-style integrated public transport system combining trams, buses, cycling and walking routes – with plans to include local rail services by 2030.

To demonstrate commitment to this vision a new timetable comes into force this week, which aims to meet increasing passenger demand, alongside an extensive Metrolink works programme which will deliver further improvements to the network over the coming year.

Danny Vaughan, TfGM’s head of Metrolink, said: “Since coming on board with us KeolisAmey Metrolink have become an invaluable partner to TfGM.

“Together we have shown that we are committed to enhancing the Metrolink service for the benefit of our customers, whether that’s investing in the network or delivering excellent levels of reliability and punctuality.

“There is still a lot of exciting work for us to do to deliver the best possible experience for our customers, and I am delighted that KAM will continue to be a part of this journey for the foreseeable future.”

Alistair Gordon, CEO Keolis UK, Middle East and India, said: “We are delighted to have agreed the extension contract to operate and maintain Metrolink services for another three years. The team at KeolisAmey Metrolink has worked with our partner TfGM to put the customer at the heart of our shared continuous improvement approach. KeolisAmey is committed to delivering a high-performance network that continues to add value to the communities of Greater Manchester.

“We now look forward to building on the many successes of Metrolink over the past seven years and are ready to deliver on the clear objectives set by TfGM for further improvements during the extension period.”

Peter Anderson, managing director at Amey, added: “It has been a privilege to work with TfGM over the last seven years delivering a more reliable, customer-centric service, which transports millions of people safely around Greater Manchester every year.

“Using our combined expertise, along with investment in our data analytics capability and technology, we have implemented solutions which more effectively manage the Metrolink network. These developments have improved operational efficiency, enhanced maintenance regimes, and ensured an efficiently managed service for the local community.

“Metrolink is an integral part of Manchester’s transport system, and the KeolisAmey team are delighted to continue working together with TfGM, connecting communities and making travel easier for the people of Greater Manchester.”

Image credit: Transport for Greater Manchester

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