Tuesday, June 16, 2020

In the News: Keolis contract for Commuter Rail extended through at least 2025

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"Keolis Commuter Services, the French company that had fallen out of favor early in its contract, will continue to operate the Massachusetts commuter rail system until at least 2025 under a renegotiated contract approved by the MBTA Board on Monday.

Under the new agreement, Keolis could continue to run MBTA trains for four years beyond the original eight-year contract’s 2022 end date. However, the T can opt to end the partnership after only three additional years if officials feel ready to launch a search for what they described as a “transformational” successor.

In 2017, Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack said the MBTA planned to seek a new operator at the contract’s conclusion rather than use one or both of the two-year extensions available. The administration’s position has softened since then.

Officials on Monday described the updated extension as a better deal than what the T could get in the current pandemic-affected market, and they said it also offers flexibility to prepare a long-term plan -- which sprung from the Rail Vision project -- for reimagining the commuter rail with more frequent, interconnected and potentially electrified service."
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Franklin's Forge Park Station
Franklin's Forge Park Station

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