|Article by Harvey Glickenstein|
On 29 June 2018, the Keolis’ Norwegian subsidiary, Keolis Norge, was awarded a contract by Bybanen AS, the local transport authority, to continue operating the Bergen, Norway, light-rail network.
The new contract is for an additional eight years and to also manage the maintenance of the trams. This renewed contract, which is subject to a statutory ten-day standstill period, will be effective from July 2019.
Bernard Tabary, chief executive officer of International Keolis, said, “We are very pleased by the trust that Bybanen AS has placed in us to continue managing the Bergen light-rail network.
At their side, we have successfully delivered continuous performance while meeting the demands of a growing network. We are looking forward to eight more years of collaboration with Bybanen AS, and we are more committed than ever to providing the residents and visitors of the city of Bergen with a sustainable, comfortable, and safe service.”
Bergen is Norway’s second largest city with a population of more than 280,000. The project for the tram network was initiated by Skyss SA with the operation of the network awarded to Keolis in 2009.
Since its launch in 2010, the Bergen tramway network has undergone rapid expansion. Initially 6 mi long, linking the city center to Nesttun, the network has been extended twice, once in 2013 to Lagunen and once in 2017 to the Bergen Airport at Flesland. The network now comprises 12.5 route mi.
The Bergen tram network includes 28 trams manufactured by Stadler. Each tram is designed to carry up to 280 passengers. In 2017, 12 million passengers rode the line. Service frequency is once every 5 min during peak hours, with extended service on Friday and Saturday nights.