|Courtesy: Keolis America|
After a nearly three hour meeting, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation has unanimously approved Keolis Transportation as the new operator of the states commuter rail system, replacing the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Rail Company (MBCR).
The new contract with Keolis will last eight years, with the possibility of two two-year extensions. The contract will cost the Commonwealth $335 million a year ($2.68 billion over 8 years) which will be the largest operating contract in the states history.
According to MBTA General Manager Bev Scott, Keolis is mandated to hire the entire current commuter rail workforce and keep existing labor agreements in place.
Keolis, a French base transportation company, is just breaking into the United States. They currently only have one other contract, which is with the Virginia Rail Express.
Keolis will take over for the MBCR when their contract end on June 30.