New operator starts on Metrolink

There has been a changing of the guard at Manchester Metrolink with KeolisAmey Metrolink (KAM) officially taking over from RATP Dev Metrolink as the new operator of the UK’s largest tram network. The new contract will run for up to 10 years and has seen the appointment of a new Managing Director.

KAM is a joint venture partnership of leading global public transport operator, Keolis, and infrastructure asset management specialist, Amey and were awarded the contract to operate and maintain the Metrolink network in January after a competitive tendering process.

As part of the new team at the head of Metrolink, Aline Frantzen has been appointed as Managing Director of KAM. Aline joins the team following 17 years with Yarra Trams in Melbourne which is also operated by Keolis. New jobs have already been created with 60 additional Customer Service Representatives, Travel Safe Officers and drivers having started.

Key features of the new contract will include a major focus on improving operational reliability as well as an increased staff presence on the network – especially in the evenings and weekends, hence the new jobs created. In total over the course of the contract 300 jobs will be created (including drivers, apprenticeships and traineeships) and a minimum of 40% of all supplier contracts will be sourced within 25 miles of Greater Manchester.

Cllr Andrew Fender, Chair of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee (TfGMC), said: “Firstly, I’d like to place on record my thanks to MRDL for all their work and pay tribute to the staff who have played a crucial part in making the network what it is today – a fantastic, world-class light rail system. KeolisAmey Metrolink is a partnership between two international transport and infrastructure management specialists, with the experience and skills to operate Metrolink, create jobs, support the growth of the local economy and deliver innovative and pragmatic solutions that offer better passenger experiences. These are exciting times for Metrolink and the city-region and I warmly welcome KAM as the Metrolink operator. Together we will further realise the full potential and benefits of the unprecedented growth and investment we are overseeing in the network.”

Aline Frantzen added: “We are looking forward to working with TfGM, our partners and the community to implement our exciting plans for what is already a high-performing network. Our approach will be focused on collaboratively working to keep Greater Manchester moving and growing.”

Welcome KAM to Manchester! Only time will tell if this is a positive change for Metrolink.

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8 Responses to New operator starts on Metrolink

  1. tram man says:

    I know there are some people who will be glad to see the back of RAPT.But to be honest i cannot see things changing much under Keolis,unless they have signed a much enhanched contract.After all Keolis will have to run the system on the same T.F.G.M infastructure as RATP have run it,and we all know of the daily list of point failures at crucial locations.

    • KenW says:

      And just to prove it that good old ‘communications failure’ has brought the entire system to a halt not once but twice today.

  2. tram man says:

    Ken you beat me to it.Just checked the website at 2211hrs and no trams running across the whole system.Not a very good start for Keolis.No doubt they are in for a hefty fine from T.F.G.M.From memory this is the third communications failure in recent months.

  3. KenW says:

    To be fair we have to give Keolis a chance to get their feet under the table and hope they are more committed to resolving problems than RATP were. One of the ticket machines at Newhey has been out of order since March and one at Milnrow which was out of order also since March has only been repaired in the last month or so. RATP’s attitude to their customers has been terrible, not everybody has internet-enabled mobile phones (or wants one). We only hope that things will improve.

    • Rodrius says:

      The ticket machine situation was beyond RATP control and nothing will change with Keolis! Scheidt & Bachmann were given a full service and replacement agreement by TfGM. S&B are pretty useless and have MASSIVE lead times on even the simplest of parts! I was told by an insider that to replace a screen which is pretty much ubiquitous on all machines will take about 3 months! This is the reason Northern rail have moved away from S&B with their latest TVM orders!

      • KenW says:

        I can quite believe that TfGM are behind this shambles, their attitude towards the travelling public is quite diabolical. Something needs doing about this contract, people in the Milnrow/Newhey areas have little alternative to using Metrolink as what used to be 8 buses per hour each way between Rochdale and Shaw has now been reduced to 2, so when both ticket machines are out of order people are effectively stranded. No doubt this lack of competition has happened in other places on the network as well. I have had occasions when machines have taken my money and not issued a ticket and on one occasion after taking my £4.30 for a single to Manchester actually issued me a £2.80 single to Rochdale! TfGM never reply to messages either. Still at least part of the company’s name is appropriate!

  4. tram man says:

    Rodrius,completely agree with your comments on the T.V.Ms. regarding lead times.Like you say the maintenance contract is no longer in house,it was out sourced probably a couple of years ago now.The lead time is the same with vehicle parts,thats why i had to smile when Keolis stated they would source 40% of supplies within 25 mile of Greater Manchester.I hope Keolis do make a difference but they have to show a profit.

  5. Alan Kirkman says:

    Bombardier have decent spares service but they have to be ordered by the Operator/maintainer. Blackpool found that when an Ex Metrolink LRT manager wasn’t ordering and using cars as Christmas trees, he was moved on by the new MD after B fleet cars had to be used during the Filming split service. So a New mind set might just help.

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