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RTA signs Dubai Metro operation and maintenance contract with Serco

Serco CEO Rupert Soames with Mattar Al Tayer, director-general and chairman of the board of executive directors of the RTA. (Image source: RTA)

Dubai?s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has signed a contract extending the operation and maintenance of the Dubai Metro with Serco Group until September 2021

The new contract covers the operation and maintenance of the Dubai Metro Red Line Extension Project (Route 2020). This extension spans 15km and connects seven stations (five elevated and two underground), and the test-run of the service is expected to start in February 2020.

The Dubai Metro lines currently have a network length of 75km, which will increase to 90km with the Red Line expansion and will have over 120 trains running at peak times.

The total value of the fixed base fee for the two-year contract is around US$185.12mn.

Mattar Al Tayer, director-general and chairman of the board of executive directors of the RTA, signed the contract on behalf of RTA; and Rupert Soames, Serco Group chief executive officer, represented Serco during the signing ceremony.

?Serco has delivered operational performance levels in the Dubai Metro with a high train service availability of 99.9 per cent and a punctuality of 99.8 per cent, achieving a record of 204mn journeys in 2018. RTA?s introduction of edge-cutting technologies of the rail operation industry also contributed to achieving these indicators,? said Al Tayer.

?The contract scope also covers operating and maintaining the fare systems of Dubai Metro and collecting the proceeds of selling and recharging nol cards, besides recruiting and training citizens to achieve a set Emiratisation target. The RTA is keen on qualifying Emiratis and the transfer of knowledge of international expertise in the operation and maintenance of rail systems; a new field to the region.

There are many factors attributing the operation and maintenance of the Dubai Metro to be contracted to specialised world-class companies. These include the requirement to have specialised experience in undertaking critical tasks as well as the know-how in operating and maintaining sophisticated electronic, computer and mechanical systems essential for the metro operation.

?Moreover, contracting the operation and maintenance to specialised companies reduces the operational costs of the metro as private businesses are able to provide high quality service and performance at lower costs through continuous improvements and value engineering. This allows RTA to focus on its core responsibilities of developing legislation and overseeing implementation and enforcement. Additionally, the practice of contracting the operations and maintenance of the metro is adopted in several rail systems worldwide such as London, France, Australia, Korea, and the USA metro lines among others,? explained Al Tayer.

Soames added, ?We are delighted to have agreed this extended and expanded contract to continue operating and maintaining the Dubai Metro, which is amongst the largest and most reliable rail services in the world.  We look forward to working in close partnership with the RTA in support of the preparations for Expo 2020 and beyond. This contract demonstrates the high confidence that RTA has in Serco to continue with delivering world-class levels of safety, operational performance and customer service.?