Nexus, which owns, manages and is modernising the Tyne and Wear Metro, today announced the names of the final two bidders shortlisted for a contract to operate trains and stations on its behalf.
Both bidders could provide an excellent public service and Nexus will now seek to establish the ‘best of the best’ by asking each to revise and confirm their proposals over the next two months.
Creating an operating concession of the highest quality will unlock more than £300 million of Government capital funding – and this will allow Nexus to modernise the ageing Metro system, securing its future for decades to come.
One of the bidders will go on to win a concession of seven to nine years, beginning in April 2010, to provide the day-to-day delivery and management of Metro train services and stations, train maintenance and modernisation of 90 Metrocars.
Nexus, which is letting the concession, will continue to own all trains, set fares and specify the service and frequencies for Metro, used by more than 40 million passengers a year.
It will also continue to own and directly manage all infrastructure, as well as investing in the future through the £300 million Metro: all change modernisation programme.
The two bidders which will now be asked to revise and confirm their detailed tenders which were submitted in July are DB Regio Tyne and Wear Limited and Metro (In House Bid).
A single preferred bidder is expected to be named by Nexus in January 2010 ahead of the concession start date.
Ken Mackay, Director of Rail and Infrastructure at Nexus, said: “Both bidders could offer a very high standard of public service in both price and quality. We will now seek to find the ‘best of the best’ by asking each to further revise and confirm their proposals.
“These bidders stand out for their strong understanding of the Metro Operations business, commitment to improve customer service, and impressive plans to upgrade the Metrocar train fleet while maintaining high standards of punctuality and reliability on our behalf.
Bernard Garner, Director General of Nexus, said: “We can be satisfied that whichever bidder is successful, Nexus and our contractor will deliver an improved service for passengers which coupled with the £300m conditionally offered by Government will secure Metro’s future for decades to come.”
“Metro: all change is about a £300m modernisation of assets like stations, trains, track and tunnels – but that investment by Nexus cannot take place until we have shown the Government, which is funding all this, that we are getting the best value from Metro operations.”
Nexus and the then Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Authority in 2008 won a £300 million funding commitment from Government to support Metro: all change – plus an equally significant commitment to meet the operating costs of Metro between 2010 and 2019 – dependent on the outcome of the procurement process for Metro Operations.