Worth approximately €83 million, this new contract further strengthens Keolis’ multimodal presence in Virginia, where it already operates a bus network and the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) commuter rail.
It also represents another step in the growth of Keolis’ footprint in North America, where the Group also operates commuter rail, tram, and bus networks, as well as on-demand transport and paratransit services.
A bus network to serve 415,000 residents in Loudoun county
On 29 January 2021, Keolis was awarded the operation and maintenance of the Loudoun County’s bus network, currently operated by two operators, starting 1 April 2021 for a period of five years.
The 28-line network encompasses several cities including Ashburn, Sterling, Leesburg, Purcellville, Hamilton, Stone Ridge and South Riding. It connects residents to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Silver Line, Arlington bus network, MARC commuter trains, as well as the VRE, operated by Keolis.
The Group will operate and maintain 117 buses. 64 commuter buses made by Motor Coach Industries (MCI) seating 55 passengers, 16 12-metre long Gillig-made buses and 37 Ford Cutaway buses for fixed route and paratransit services.
The services provided by Keolis are expected to carry 1.6 million passengers annually. Several factors contributed to Keolis being selected as top-ranked operator in Loudoun County’s competitive procurement process, including its expertise in enhancing maintenance processes and passenger experience across its global operations. Improvements to the passenger experience aimed at restoring ridership to pre-Covid levels include better punctuality and stepped-up vehicle cleaning and disinfection.
Keolis will welcome some 120 new employees from the two existing operators ahead of the operational launch of the Loudoun County bus network on 1 April 2021. The handover between operators is underway with the aim of providing a smooth transition before the introduction of new measures to meet the evolving needs of passengers in the community.