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Keolis Downer to operate Valenciennes network

The operator has received a new French contract to revitalise the area’s transport network

Keolis Downer has announced it has signed a contract to operate and enhance the multimodal transport network in and around the French area of Valenciennes.

The contract was awarded to Keolis on July 11 by the Valenciennois Association of Communes for Urban Organisation and Mobility (SIMOUV) to maintain the entire public transport network.

The network known as Transvilles includes bus and coach options, trams and city centre shuttle services, along with a fleet of bicycles.

The contract is valid for seven years and begins on January 1, 2023, with Keolis Downer expecting it to generate revenues of more than 400 million Euros.

Keolis’ main tasks will be to strengthen the transport offer by creating two key lines and redesigning the on-demand transport service, as well as modernising the service offer via a new website and mobile app that allows for open payment.

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Keolis Downer will also aim to support the energy transition strategy of the area and improving the safety of all transport modes.

The network currently consists of 42 lines and has a fleet of 152 vehicles that service 350,000 people living in 82 municipalities.

As part of Keolis Downer’s new strategy in Valenciennes, the renewal of part of the fleet will begin in 2023 and will include transitioning to electric options.

Keolis intends to recruit 44 drivers by 2023 to address the driver shortage while supporting the local economy.

Once recruited, these drivers will be part of the launch of Keolis’ Mobility Campus in 2024, that aims to train drivers between 20 and 29 who have held a B driving licence for two years and wish to become a bus and coach driver on one of Keolis’ networks.

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