Egged has been awarded the tender to operate and maintain the Tel Aviv light rail Red Line by the NTA Metropolitan Mass Transit System Ltd. tenders committee. The winning bid was from the Tevel consortium controlled by Egged (51%) with Chinese companies Shenzhen Metro (30%) and CCECC (19%). The tender win is subject to approval by the Israel Antitrust Authority.
The other two bids for the tender were from the Nahor consortium led by the Dan Bus Cooperative with Beijing Metro and Israel-Canada (Derekh Eretz) with Guangzhou Metro. NTA has already presented the three bids to the Israel Antitrust Authority to receive its legal opinion on issues such as promoting competition and reducing concentration.
The Red Line operator will be responsible for routine maintenance for all the light rail's operations from training and placement of drivers and ticket conductors through to managing maintenance contracts and railcar maintenance as well as the railways systems and infrastructures. The agreement to be signed will be for 10 years with an option for an additional six years.
NTA defined 17 service criteria that the operator must comply with including punctual operating timetables, availability of trains, safety, cleanliness, and accessible information for passengers. Frequency of trains during rush hours will be once every three and a half minutes. NTA will remain responsible for supervision and enforcement of the operator's service standards.
The Red Line, which will be the first line in the Greater Tel Aviv Metropolitan Mass Transit System will run from Petah Tikva through Bnei Brak, Ramat Gan, Tel Aviv and Jaffa to Bat Yam. The line is scheduled to begin operations in October 2021. From now the chosen operator will be involved in the planning and construction process for the light rail system, and will be responsible for preparing operation plans, receiving the first railcars, training the required staff, and carrying out trial runs. Early preparedness it is hoped will allow for quality and efficient service from day one of operations.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on August 3, 2017
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