Keolis Extends Its Footprint in the US with a New Bus Contract in Southern California
On 1 October 2020, Keolis Transit America (KTA), Keolis North America’s subsidiary, started operating the Victor Valley network in San Bernardino County, Southern California, for which the contract was awarded by Victor Valley Transit Authority (VVTA) on 13 September 2020.
The contract, worth approximately €110 million ($130 million), gives Keolis responsibility to operate and maintain 127 buses, 91 of which run on natural gas, and seven of which are electric, for a period of five years, with the option to extend it for an additional five years.
With this new contract, Keolis will carry an additional three million passengers per year and welcome 240 new employees to its workforce. Operating buses, commuter rail, on-demand transport, paratransit and autonomous electric vehicles in the US since 2010, the VVTA contract represents another step in the growth of Keolis’ North American footprint.
“We are pleased to partner with VVTA and contribute our expertise in bus operations and maintenance from across the United States and Canada, as well as around the world. And we are particularly proud to have managed the handover in a short time of 17 days. Our aim is to provide Victor Valley residents and visitors with a reliable, safe and on-time service whilst introducing innovations which deliver tangible improvements to the passenger experience.”
The bus network of Victor Valley, located in the Mojave Desert in San Bernardino County, covers 1,082 km² and features 30 lines and four main transit centers. It encompasses several Southern California cities such as Adelanto, Apple Valley, Barstow, Hesperia, Victorville, San Bernardino and unincorporated San Bernardino areas in the High Desert, including commuter service to Fort Irwin, which are home to a combined total of 450,000 residents.
Keolis will operate and maintain a fleet of 127 buses which will carry over 1.7 million passengers per year. Much of the fleet’s buses are adapted to the needs of passengers with reduced mobility. The buses will be parked and maintained in two depots, located in Hesperia and Barstow.
Keolis offers VVTA a data-driven approach to performance management that includes transparent reporting through a visualization room, used to review the status of operations in real time, and a proprietary Dispatch Control System (DCS) for optimal driver scheduling and vehicle readiness.
Winning this contract confirms Keolis’ current growth in the US, where in June 2020 the group won extensions to its contracts to operate commuter trains serving Boston and Washington D.C. and their surrounding areas, and in July 2020 it won a bus contract in Virginia.
Keolis’ 5,000 employees in the US operate and maintain buses, coaches, vehicles for people with reduced mobility and commuter rail services in 12 cities which carry over 100 million passengers every year. It operates over 1,000 buses and coaches in the US including many which run on alternative energy sources, including natural gas, hydrogen and electricity.
Keolis provides transport for people with reduced mobility in Greensboro, Fresno and Los Angeles.
“Here at VVTA we look forward to a long and successful partnership with Keolis. VVTA is at the forefront of providing innovative mobility options to the High Desert communities and we feel Keolis is at the forefront of providing professional transit services that will meet and exceed our expectations.”
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