Keolis Norge has been awarded a contract by local transport authority Bybanen to continue operating the Bergen light rail network in Norway for another eight years.
The agreement, which begins in July 2019, now also includes tram maintenance and builds on the operator’s success since being awarded the contract in 2009.
Keolis International CEO Bernard Tabary said: “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, 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.”
Since its launch in 2010, the Bergen light rail network has undergone a rapid expansion. Initially 9.6km-long system linking the city centre to the suburb of Nesttun, it has been extended twice, once in 2013 to Lagunen and once in 2017 to Flesland airport.
The system is now 20km-long, carrying up to 280 passengers on each of its 28 Stadler trams. Service frequency is once every five minutes during peak hours, with an extended service on Friday and Saturday nights. In total, the system is used by 12 million passengers each year – which is double the number of passengers from when operations began.
Bergen is Norway’s second largest city with a population of more than 280,000 inhabitants.
With the success of the light rail network, Bybanen now plans to extend the network to the north and to the west, delivering an additional 10km by 2022. This extension will also include a new depot and 12-14 additional new trams.