Transport for Greater Manchester has selected KeolisAmey, National Express, Transdev and incumbent RATP Dev 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, the four firms will progress to the tender stage of the procurement process.
The start of the new contract in 2017 will come in the same year Metrolink marks 25 years of operation and the completion of the second city crossing.
As well as operating and maintaining the network, the successful bidder will be expected to deliver a quality, safe, reliable and customer-focused service and support major events 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.”
Currently, system maintenance is the subject of two separate contracts. Maintenance obligations for the tram fleet and phases one and two of the system are included within the combined operations and maintenance agreement with Metrolink RATP Dev, which is also the operator for the whole of the system. The maintenance obligations for phase three infrastructure are delivered under the design, construct and maintain contract with the M-Pact Thales consortium, which is the contractor for the phase three extensions.