Shanghai Keolis has secured a new contract to operate and maintain the tram network in Jiaxing, Zhejiang province, China, for five years.
The contract requires Shanghai Keolis to form a joint venture (JV) called Shenjia with the local transport authority to operate the tram network.
Shanghai Keolis is itself a JV between Shanghai Shentong Metro Group (51%) and Keolis (49%).
The contract further bolsters Keolis’ footprint in China as a tram operation and maintenance company.
Keolis Group International CEO Bernard Tabary said: “We’ll draw on our track record operating the tram network in Songjiang, as well as our international experience in Australia, Canada, France, Norway and the UK.
“Our goal is to provide an outstanding mobility option to Jiaxing residents and visitors and to reduce traffic congestion and pollution by offering a safe, reliable alternative to private cars.”
Scheduled to 1 July 2021, the catenary-free network in Jiaxing is also the first light rail system in Zhejiang province.
The 15.6km network includes two lines with a total of 26 stations. A total of 20 CRRC-built trams will operate on the lines, with daily ridership expected to reach 50,000 passengers.
A third line is expected to open in 2023, which will increase the network to 35.7km and add another 29 stations.
As agreed, Shanghai Keolis will manage the new company. It also plans to hire 200 new employees including drivers, maintenance technicians and customer support staff to support the operations.
In China, the JV also operates the automated metro line in Shanghai and the Songjiang tram network in the suburban district of Shanghai among others.
In September, Keolis Downer, another Keolis JV, secured a $1.57bn contract to operate the Adelaide Metropolitan Passenger Rail Network in South Australia.