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Keolis to operate Dubai's driverless metro and tram networks

The Dubai Roads & Transport Authority’s metro and tram networks, which carry around 210 million passengers per year, are a key part of the emirate’s smart mobility vision.

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Dubai has the the longest fully driverless and automated metro network in the world
Dubai has the the longest fully driverless and automated metro network in the world

Dubai’s Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) has awarded a 15-year contract to Keolis to operate its driverless metro and tram networks.

 

The nine-year contract, with a possible six-year extension, is worth €125m annually.

 

Joint venture

 

Keolis will be the lead partner in a joint venture (JV) in partnership with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engineering (MHI) and Mitsubishi Corporation. Both partners have previously worked with the RTA over several years. Under this contract, Keolis and its partners will manage Dubai’s metro and tram network from September 2021. The JV will take the form of a new subsidiary called Keolis-MHI.

 

“We at Dubai’s Roads & Transport Authority are keen on ensuring the highest standards of operation, maintenance, security and safety for the metro and tram riders and achieving competitive performance indicators of operation and punctuality of journeys besides improving the quality of services provided to metro and tram riders,” said Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, director-general, chairman of the board of executive directors, RTA.

 

Under the terms, the consortium shall undertake the operation and maintenance services of the Dubai Metro Red and Green lines as well as Route 2020. It will also cater to the operation of Dubai Tram, and all assets of the metro and tram networks including trains, control centres, stations and the associated infrastructure.

The metro system is embedded into a wider, mult-imodal network offering a number of travel options, which link metro stations with bus, taxi and marine services

Harnessing modern level 4 communications-based train control (CBTC) technology, provided by Thales – which increases transport capacity by reducing the time interval between trains – the Dubai metro network is the longest fully driverless and automated metro network in the world.

 

It features two lines (including Route 2020) spanning a total of 90km, including 15.8km of tunnel, and 53 fully air-conditioned stations offering facilities ranging from retail outlets to wi-fi.

 

The metro system is embedded into a wider, multi-modal network offering a number of travel options, which link metro stations with bus, taxi and marine services. Equipped with 129 metro trainsets, 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, harnesses an APS ground-level power supply system. With a total length of 10.6km, the city’s tram network consists of 11 stations and 11 Alstom Citadis trams, connecting to two metro stations: Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Lake Towers.

 

Smart and sustainable

 

This JV combines MHI and MC’s extensive knowledge of the Dubai’s metro network with Keolis’ experience in automated metro operations. The JV will work hand-in-hand with RTA to deliver its vision of world-class, smart and sustainable mobility for the city. Keolis-MHI will:

  • train around 2,000 staff members in the “Zero Harm” safety culture and “Thinking Like a Passenger” approach, which ensures that safety and passenger satisfaction are placed at the heart of its operations
  • develop local communities’ expertise and talent by employing Emiratis and working with local businesses
  • enhance the multi-modal journey experience with innovations in real-time passenger information and optimised timetables
  • manage and improve rolling stock and infrastructure asset life cycle, through predictive maintenance and data-led processes, digitalisation and visualisation
  • continue to support and exchange knowledge and best practice through a community of thousands of rail experts working across nine metro and 26 tram networks.

Keolis manages several other automated metro networks across the world, which includes Lyon and Rennes in France, Doha (Qatar), Shanghai (China) and Hyderabad (India).

 

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