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Keolis Wins Contract To Operate Dubai’s Driverless Metro And Tram Networks

posted on 22nd Mar 2021 11:17

Following Dubai’s Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) announcement on 20 March 2021, Keolis and its international partners were selected as the successful bidders for a nine-year contract, with a possible six-year extension (2x three years) and worth approximately 125 million EUR annually, to operate and maintain the city’s metro and tram networks from September 2021.

Keolis will be the lead partner in a Keolis-MHI joint venture, with Keolis’s share of 70 % and that of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engineering (MHI) of 25 % and Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) of 5 %. Both partners have already worked successfully with the RTA over several years. 

Underpinning Dubai’s Smart City vision, innovation is a key feature of RTA’s metro and tram networks, which carry around 210 million passengers annually (2019 figure). Harnessing communications-based train control technology, provided by Thales, the Dubai metro is the longest fully driverless and automated metro network in the world. It features two lines (including Route 2020) spanning a total of 90 km, including 15.8 km of tunnel, and 53 fully air-conditioned stations offering a host of facilities ranging from retail outlets to Wi-Fi. 

The metro system is embedded into a wider, multimodal network offering comprehensive and accessible travel options, which link metro stations with bus, taxi and marine services. Equipped with 129 trains (79 Kinki Sharyo units delivered by Mitsubishi in 2009 and 50 Metropolises built by Alstom), the metro network provides easy access to key locations such as Dubai International Airport, Burj Khalifa, Dubai Healthcare City and the Expo 2020 site, where the United Arab Emirates is set to host an exceptional edition of the World Expo event for six months from October 2021.

The city’s catenary-free tram network, which opened in 2014, uses an APS ground-level power supply system. With a total length of 10.6 km, the network consists of 11 stations and 11 Alstom-built Citadis trams, connecting to two metro stations: Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Lake Towers. The tram network is equipped with cutting-edge innovations such as platform screen doors.

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