Keolis Downer EDI wins Melbournes tram tender

By: Graham Gardiner

Keolis Downer EDI (KDR) has been named preferred tenderer to operate Melbourne’s tram network. Victoria's Premier John Brumby says KDR has

Keolis Downer EDI (KDR) has been named preferred tenderer to operate Melbourne’s tram network.

Victoria's Premier John Brumby says KDR has been selected after an exhaustive tender process and evaluation, with its bid representing the best value for Victorian taxpayers.

He says KDR’s bid made it clear it was committed to customer service, including an increased focus on staff training, and providing timely and accurate information to passengers.

"Melbourne has one of the largest tram networks in the world and patronage has grown by 15.2 percent in the 12 months to March, with a total of 178.4 million trips," Brumby says.

"As more people use the network it is paramount that passengers feel safe and have the necessary information on services and how to use the network.

"KDR has made it clear that it recognises our desire for a safe and accessible tram system and that is why they have pledged to ensure each tram is safe for its passengers but also for other vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists.

"Our trams are an iconic symbol of our city and KDR has proven strategies to improve services, reduce cancellations and increase maintenance."

KDR is a consortium between Keolis, a subsidiary of the French public enterprise railway company SNCF, and Australian maintenance provider Downer EDI. The company will initially be offered an eight-year term with an option for a further seven years. KDR operates four tram networks in France.

Public Transport Minister Lynne Kosky says KDR will be able to draw on its international expertise to introduce proven systems and processes which have worked successfully overseas to improve tram services.

"KDR is committed to introducing a culture of continual improvement on the tram network to ensure that passengers get to where they need to go safely and efficiently," she says.

"They will also work with the Brumby Labor Government as we roll out the $38 billion Victorian Transport Plan which includes funding for up to 50 new low-floor trams and a new tram depot."

Kosky thanked TransdevTSL, which has partnered with the Victorian Government for the past 10 years to operate Yarra Trams.

Final discussions will now take place, leading to the signing of the new operating contract in August. The Government is confident TransdevTSL will meet its entire current obligation in the existing contract before KDR takes control of the network in December this year.

Kosky says the exhaustive and competitive international tender process began in 2007 and has been overseen by an independent probity auditor.

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