On September 8, Keolis has begun operating and maintaining Dubai driverless metro system and operating the tram network under a 15-year contract awarded by the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) on 31 January 2021.
“Dubai Metro currently constitutes the backbone of transport systems in Dubai. It links vital areas and provides safe and smooth mobility for riders. The huge successes of the Dubai Metro have gone far and wide beyond the scope of the Emirate. The metro has embellished the global profile of Dubai as a superior business hub and a key destination for an exceptional quality of life. The metro is a brilliant addition to Dubai’s iconic landmarks as it uses state-of-the-art rail technology,” Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, the Director-General of Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) said.
The new contract spans 15 years composed of a 9-year fixed term contract with three possible 2-year extensions. Keolis-MHI joint venture is responsible for operating and maintaining the Dubai Metro Red and Green lines and operating the Dubai Tram. The company will run all metro and tram network assets, from trains and control centres to stations and associated infrastructure, delivering premium passenger transport services capable of handling large variations in passenger numbers.
Also covered are operation and maintenance of the automated metro and fare systems, and full coordination and integration of Dubai’s metro, tram and other means of transport. The service must meet the highest standards of security and safety for passengers as well as demanding performance indicators for operations and punctuality.
Keolis-MHI joint venture is led by Keolis (70 per cent) and includes Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engineering (MHI, 25 per cent) and Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) which have both been heavily involved in the construction and development of Dubai metro network since 2005. For this contract, Keolis-MHI has recruited 1,850 employees, mainly from the previous operator, following a smooth seven-month transition period.
To celebrate the handover, an official ceremony was held at Al Rashidya metro depot in Dubai where the representatives of the companies, part of the consortium, and RTA attended.
The transition of assets and systems went smoothly, in line with RTA’s requirements, which called for retaining a majority of Serco’s workforce who have acquired extensive experience in operating and maintaining Dubai’s metro and tram networks.
To facilitate the move, Keolis sent in a transition team whose members reflect the Group’s expertise in France and around the world. It included 52 staff dedicated to mobilisation on the ground, alongside 105 experts in operations, maintenance, human resources, marketing and customer relations.
Dubai driverless metro system has two lines, including the Route 2020, covering 90 km, including 15.8 km of tunnel. Its 53 fully air-conditioned stations offer a host of facilities, from retail outlets to Wi-Fi. The metro system is also part of a wider, multimodal network that expands travel options by linking metro stations with bus, taxi and marine services.
The network operates with 129 metro trainsets, of which 79 Kinki Sharyo metro trains delivered by Mitsubishi in 2009 and 50 Metropolis trains built by Alstom. The metro system provides easy access to key locations, including Dubai International Airport, Burj Khalifa, Dubai Healthcare City and the Expo 2020 site, where the United Arab Emirates is set to host a highly-anticipated World Expo for six months from October 2021.
Dubai catenary-free tram network, opened in 2014, uses an APS ground-level power supply system to offer passengers convenient, comfortable travel. Since there are no wires overhead, it also provides great views of Dubai’s magnificent urban landscape.
The network totals 10.6 km, serving 11 stations and is operated by 11 Alstom Citadis trams.