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UK: Gatwick Airport held its annual Transport Forum on 12 October, which emphasised airport's commitment to continue increasing the usage of sustainable modes and decreasing road congestion. The Forum gave an overview on Gatwick's initiatives to improve surface access for passengers and employees.

Richard Higgins, Head of Gatwick's Surface Access Strategy said that one of the key goals is to continue to move to sustainable modes and taking vehicle trips of the roads.

"In the last twelve months we had a period of disruptions, especially with the rail service. Due to the high frequency of rail services at the airport, we had been partially protected from those disruptions but there still has been an impact on punctuality. Our rail mode share could be at least two percent higher than it is today, if all things ran smoothly," Richard Higgins said.

Following on from the Forum, Gatwick Airport has released the draft Master Plan setting out how the airport can meet the growing demand for air travel as the airport estimates to reach 50 million annual passengers by 2020.

The draft Master plans details surface access improvement projects, emphasizing that Gatwick’s railway station, as one of the busiest in the country, has been struggling to cope with rising numbers of trains and passengers. Gatwick is working with Network Rail, the owners of the station, to develop plans to expand and improve the concourse areas. This will add more vertical circulation to the busiest platforms to facilitate platform clearance and provide new enhanced pedestrian routes. The proposed scheme will be jointly funded by the airport, Network Rail and DfT, costing around £120m, and is due for completion by 2022/23.

The full Master Plan can be downloaded from here >>> 

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MALAYSIA – Express Rail Link Sdn Bhd (ERL) continues on its aggressive digital partnership drive as it announces its latest collaboration with ROKKI, AirAsia’s in-flight WiFi platform that offers in-flight entertainment and connectivity.

AirAsia guests can now enjoy the convenience of buying KLIA Ekspres tickets on-board the flight using their mobile devices. The new facility will save them the hassle of buying tickets at the ticket counter or kiosk upon flight arrival.

Noormah Mohd Noor, Chief Executive Officer of ERL said, “We are proud to be partnering with ROKKI. At ERL, we constantly look for new ways of expanding our customer base and now with ROKKI, it has been expanded to the skies! This strategic partnership creates a seamless travel experience to those travelling with AirAsia. With a 99.7% on-time performance, the KLIA Ekspres provides passengers a fast and reliable way to the city centre.”
To get started, passengers can simply connect a mobile device to ROKKI in-flight Wi-Fi for free and visit rokki.com to purchase the KLIA Ekspres e-tickets.

Lalitha Sivanaser, Chief Executive Officer of ROKKI said, “Partnerships like this are important to ROKKI, as our primary goal is to benefit and add value to the AirAsia guest’s travel experience. Now, they can arrive at their destination stress-free, knowing they have got the best deals on airport transfer even before they’ve landed in klia2. Guests can look forward to more deals like this on ROKKI as we continue to expand our offering.”

Earlier this month ERL has launched a Year End Super Saver (YESS) promotion offering fare discounts of up to 27% until 1 January 2019.

Besides that, ERL is also offering their KLIA Ekspres+GRAB package at a special price as part of the YESS promotion.

Noormah Mohd Noor, Chief Executive Officer of ERL said, “The final quarter of the year is a great time to travel and spend time with our loved ones. Travellers are always on the lookout for sweet deals and there’s no better to way to start their holiday than with KLIA Ekspres.”

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USA: The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is inviting consultants to submit proposals for the formal environmental review of the planned AirTrain LGA project.

The environmental impact statement (EIS), which is required by the National Environmental Policy Act, will provide multiple opportunities for public input and examine all potential effects and mitigation measures of the proposed airport rail-link from LaGuardia Airport in Queens to both the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and New York City Transit (NYCT) subway system. It will also further study a range of alternatives to meet the stated goals of providing better access to New York City origins and destinations for passengers via shorter and more reliable-travel times to and from the airport. 

Travel times to LaGuardia Airport via automobile have gone up in recent years and have become highly unpredictable due to increased congestion, which is projected to worsen in the years ahead. 

“As is the case with any critical infrastructure project, public input and a thorough evaluation of all alternatives is paramount,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “Our goal is to provide LaGuardia Airport passengers with a convenient, reliable world-class rail connection with travel times below 30 minutes from midtown Manhattan. We’re grateful for the invaluable community input that has guided our planning thus far and look forward to additional engagement as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proceeds with the formal environmental review.” 

Once the environmental consultant is selected, the review will commence with a Notice of Intent and scoping, the process used to determine the appropriate contents of an EIS. Public participation including a public hearing process is an integral part of scoping, which will be formally announced and widely publicized to solicit comments about what should be included such as relevant local issues, alternatives, and mitigation measures. Additional opportunities for review and comment will occur once a Draft EIS is prepared and made available for a minimum of 45 days, including an additional public hearing process. The FAA will conclude the process with the issuance of a Record of Decision on the project. 

The FAA will be the lead agency responsible for overseeing the EIS in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. 

To support the environmental review and assist in the selection of the consultant, the Port Authority submitted to the FAA a set of initial documents including 1) its analysis of a wide range of alternatives that are on the table as part of the review process; 2) an examination of projected ridership of AirTrain through a passenger preference survey and a ground choice access model; 3) a study on increased traffic congestion between LaGuardia Airport and Midtown Manhattan, the airport’s largest passenger market.

The alternatives analysis identifies 20 options to improve access to the airport, including exclusive bus lanes, improvements to the existing transportation system, ferry service, five separate potential off-airport locations for fixed guideway terminals, and previously proposed extensions of the Astoria subway line.

The alternatives analysis also identifies the Port Authority’s “preferred alternative” as an elevated train operating between LaGuardia and an off-airport station at Willets Point, with transfers to the Long Island Rail Road and the MTA’s No. 7 subway line with direct connections to Grand Central Terminal and New York Penn Station. The Port Authority’s plan calls for two on-airport stations as part of LaGuardia’s $8 billion redevelopment.

The ridership analysis submitted to the FAA indicates that between 6.6 million and 10 million annual trips would be taken on AirTrain LGA in its early years of operation. That range would rise to 8.4-12 million annual trips by 2045.

A study by Sam Schwartz Engineers, a traffic and transportation planning and engineering firm, found that between 2014 and 2017, the number of days on which peak travel times between LGA and Midtown occurred that were greater than 70 minutes, increased more than fivefold – to 114 days of the year. That represents nearly one in every three days. The unpredictable variability of travel times means passengers must budget more and more time to avoid missing a flight. Today, budgeted time from Midtown is approximately an hour. By 2045, in a world of autonomous vehicles and when LaGuardia’s annual passenger volume is anticipated to grow to more than 40 million up from the 2017 record of 29.5 million, the budgeted travel time to and from Midtown is projected to double to nearly two hours.

The RFP and supporting documents can be found here >>>

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MALAYSIA: Express Rail Link Sdn Bhd (ERL) announced a new partnership with Vidi, an online platform where travellers can find and book travel activities such as tours, attraction tickets, and restaurant deals in over 79 destinations across Asia Pacific.
 
This latest partnership marks another step for ERL in providing a seamless service experience that is fast, reliable, comfortable and convenient.
 
Speaking on the partnership, ERL’s Chief Executive Officer, Noormah Mohd Noor said, “We are proud and excited to be partnering with Vidi. Their interactive trip planning capability allows travellers to plan and choose activities on a single platform. With Vidi onboard, travellers can now include KLIA Ekspres easily in their trip itinerary. This partnership will certainly broaden our sales distribution.”
 
“At Vidi, we’re always trying to find ways to add value for our customers. This partnership with ERL is really exciting for us as it provides our customers, both locals and international travellers, a complete airport-to-city travel solution. Ensuring comfortable, fast, and reliable transportation is a great way to make the start and end of any journey memorable! ” stated Aaron Sarma, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Vidi.

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SWEDEN: Starting 16 October, Arlanda Express has launched a new “Early Bird” ticket, whereby passengers will only pay SEK 195 one-way for tickets purchased at least seven days in advance.

The new Early Bird ticket can be purchased on the Arlanda Express website up to 7 days before the date of travel, and represents a discount of over 30% on the standard full fare. Adults may be accompanied by up to four children aged 0-17 free of charge.

The introduction of the new Early Bird ticket is in response to extensive customer feedback on how they use the Arlanda Express. “Stockholm is a city with a high number of single households, and customers told us that they often travel on their own. We wanted to offer these adults travelling on their own an affordable alternative” says Per Thorstenson, CEO of Arlanda Express.

At the same time, Arlanda Express is retaining its campaign tickets that offer discounts to people travelling together. The fare is SEK 350 for a group of two people, SEK 450 for three people and SEK 550 for four people travelling between Thursdays and Sundays.

As part of the simplification of the product offering, the existing 90/30/14 day Early Bird tickets, 6 hour ticket, student ticket, and 50-trip travelcard will be discontinued. The price of a standard journey will increase by SEK 15. Up to four children aged 0–17 accompanied by an adult may continue to travel free of charge.

“We offer industry-leading punctuality and service. This simplified offering makes it easier for more people to travel with us,” says Per Thorstenson, CEO of Arlanda Express.

The complete new price list can be found here: https://www.arlandaexpress.se/priser.aspx

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Aeroexpress

RUSSIA: Moscow airports' express rail service Aeroexpress will introduce several new fares and upgrade the existing ones before the end of autumn.

One of the new fares offered to passengers is a "Roundtrip" ticket, which includes two rides on the train for RUB 850, regardless of the way of purchase. Previously similar ticket cost RUB 1,000 when purchased from ticket offices and ticket vending machines.

The roundtrip ticket is valid for 30 days and includes two rides in a standard carriage on any of the Aeroexpress routes. From 16 October passengers can buy this ticket from ticket offices, ticket vending machines, online and via the app for the same price.

“We have been constantly analyzing the existing fares and try to offer our passengers the most attractive options. “Roundtrip” tickets are in the highest demand, but their price was different depending on whether they were purchased from a ticket office or online. We decided to upgrade this fare and unify the price, thus making it much more beneficial than a taxi ride. On average, one taxi ride from a rail terminal to the airport during daytime costs 650 to 2,000 roubles one way. Our passengers will be able to make two rides at a lower cost,” said Alina Bisembaeva, CEO of Aeroexpress.

In November, Aeroexpress is also going to introduce a completely new special offer for two passengers travelling together. This pair fare will be available at ticket offices and company’s employees at the Aeroexpress terminals, as well as via the company’s website and app.

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Flytoget

NORWAY: Monday 8 October 2018 marks the 20th anniversary for both Oslo Airport Gardermoen and Flytoget Oslo Airport Express. CEO Philipp Engedal is optimistic about the company’s future and looks forward to celebrating the anniversary with both customers and employees.

“We are celebrating 20 years of proud history and great results and it is very rewarding to conclude that we are stronger than ever. In 2018 Flytoget will see an all-time high in terms of both passengers and turnover we have a stable customer satisfaction of 97%. We have 312 wonderful employees and over 100 million travelers to thank for these results”, says Engedal.

Since the beginning Flytoget has generated more than 1,5 billion NOK in dividends to the state of Norway, contributed to the fact that over 70% uses public transport to and from Oslo Airport, and has won numerous awards for their outstanding level of service mindedness.

“In 2019 we get our brand-new Airport Express Trains, and I must say I look forward to the next 20 years with my dedicated and enthusiastic group of employees,” concludes Engedal.

To mark the occasion Flytoget will serve coffee, breakfast and cupcakes to their passengers travelling on Monday.

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USA: Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced a $13 billion plan to transform John F. Kennedy International Airport into a modern 21st century airport anchored by two new world-class international terminal complexes on the airport's north and south sides. This investment — including $12 billion in private funding — advances the Governor's vision for a unified and interconnected airport system with modern passenger amenities, centralized ground transportation options and improved roadways that collectively will increase the airport's capacity by at least 15 million passengers a year.

"This historic investment to modernize JFK Airport and the surrounding transportation network will not only ease travel through this major hub, but it will ensure JFK joins the ranks as one of the finest airports in the world," Governor Cuomo said.

The Governor's JFK Vision Plan, initially unveiled in January 2017 and based on the recommendations from the Governor's Airport Advisory Panel, calls for an overhaul of the airport's hodgepodge of eight disparate terminal sites into one unified JFK Airport by demolishing old terminals, utilizing vacant space, and modernizing on-airport infrastructure, while incorporating the latest in passenger amenities and technological innovations. The Vision Plan also calls for increasing the number and size of gates, improving parking availability, an array of airside taxiway improvements to allow for bigger planes and reduced gate congestion, upgrading the AirTrain JFK system to handle increased passenger capacity, and enhanced roadways on and off the airport.

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Cuomo's announcement follows the selection in September 2017 of a master planning team for the redevelopment of the airport, led by Mott MacDonald and Grimshaw Architects.

The plans for the two terminals will now be submitted to the Port Authority's Board of Commissioners. Once lease terms are finalised, the leases will be subject to final Board approval. Additional discussions with multiple other airlines and terminal operators remain ongoing to further advance the goals of the Vision Plan.

The proposed new $7 billion, 2.9 million square foot terminal on the airport's south side will be developed by the Terminal One Group, a consortium of four international airlines—Lufthansa, Air France, Japan Airlines and Korean Air Lines. The complex will be operated by Munich Airport International and also be connected to the existing Terminal 4.

On the airport's north side, the proposed new $3 billion, 1.2 million square foot terminal will be developed by JetBlue.

Construction is expected to begin in 2020 with the first new gates opening in 2023 and substantial completion expected in 2025.

An additional $2 billion in private non-Port Authority funding will be allocated to an array of critical infrastructure upgrades.

With respect to mass transit, the Port Authority will be adding 50 percent capacity to the AirTrain JFK system as well as increasing frequency of service to keep up with rising demand. More than 7.6 million paid passengers used the system in 2017, with another 12.6 million more riding it to connect between terminals and access ground transportation. Additionally, at Jamaica Station the Long Island Rail Road is constructing a new, 12-car platform that will increase capacity for those traveling to and from JFK.

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SOUTH AFRICA: This month Gautrain celebrates 100 months of operation, having transported in excess of 86 million train passengers, as well as 25 million bus passengers to date.

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ISRAEL: Israel Railways have officially opened the new high speed rail link between Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport and Jerusalem on 25 September 2018. The trains will operate every half hour and it will take 21 minutes to travel from the city centre to the airport.

This is just a part opening of the line, in the coming months the line will be extended, first to Tel Aviv’s stations and eventually to Herzliya. When completed, the journey between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem will take under half an hour.

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NS Market Share 2018

Leading passenger transport and operations consultancy North Star, has released its sixth annual Global Air-Rail Market Share Report. The report evaluates a sample of worldwide Market Share trends of rail connections to airports.

North Star assessed a combined 50 million air-rail passenger journeys, which occurred during 2017, from a sample of air-rail operators in Australia, South Africa, Malaysia, China, the United Kingdom, France, Austria, Russia and other locations.

Market share is calculated as the percentage of airport passengers that use each rail service to travel to and/or from the airport and the city centre. Passenger numbers used, exclude airport transit passengers and staff. The market share index sums the collective change in market share on the year-by-year basis, adding it to a baseline figure of 100.

Whilst acknowledging the vast worldwide patronage that continues to use air-rail connections, North Star’s Managing Director Richard Brown recognised the ongoing headwinds facing the industry. Mr Brown reported that for the second consecutive year, North Star’s analysed Market Share index reduced.

“The industry continues to experience increased competition from ride share and car-hailing competitors”, reported Mr Brown. “Like many established industries, Air-Rail has been confronted with disruption. On the other hand, our sample operators reported that ongoing road congestion to and from airports remains a compelling reason why passengers choose rail as their preferred transport mode.”

Reflecting on North Star’s sixth report, Mr Brown observed the findings on marketing and fare promotions.

“The long-term data indicates the persuasive evidence that investment in marketing supports Market Share growth”, he said. “And interestingly, a number of our operators have been successful in moving the Market Share dial via fare discounts and promotions. We are seeing a range of exciting approaches to marketing and fare pricing from many of our sample operators”.

Sydney Airport Link’s Chief Executive Tim Anderson, who oversees 9 million annual air-rail passenger journeys to Australia’s gateway airport commended on North Star’s report. “It’s very enlightening to read the study and understand what is occurring around the globe. Geographically we are very diverse, but there are many similar challenges and opportunities that we all confront. This report gives us a common bond and communication avenue to expand our businesses.”

From South Africa, Gautrain’s Senior Executive Manager of Communications and Marketing Dr Barbara Jensen echoed a similar response: “It is not only valuable to have an insight into global trends, but it is also valuable to see how Gautrain rates amongst other air rail providers. In addition, the report provides a scientifically sound yet practical review on air rail market share. Definitely a valuable initiative to partner with.”

KLIA Ekspres’ Chief Executive Noormah Mohd Noor added, “The challenges facing us in Kuala Lumpur are similar to those faced by air-rail operators worldwide. However, the initiatives and creative solutions by each operator is different. We strongly believe that we can help one another. The Market Intelligence Report allows this sharing of knowledge, which is what we like and see as the biggest benefit of participating in this report”.

The participants will discuss the report in more detail in London at the Global AirRail London Conference taking place on 27-29 November 2018.

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UK: Leeds City Council will call for public consultation to improve road and rail access to the airport.

Leeds Bradford Airport is a key economic asset for Leeds and the wider region, supporting over 5,000 jobs and contributing £336million to the city region economy each year. It is one of the fastest-growing airports in the UK, with passenger numbers predicted by the Department for Transport to rise from four million in 2017 to 7.1million by 2030 and over nine million by 2050.

To support this expected growth at the airport and to support job creation in the wider north west Leeds, the council working with West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Leeds Bradford Airport and key stakeholders has put forward some key investment proposals, including a new airport parkway rail station, located on the existing Leeds-Harrogate Line, with a short connecting spur road to the airport to provide a shuttle bus connection similar to that at Luton Airport. This would also serve as a park and ride service for destinations on the Leeds-Harrogate Line and beyond.

Improving rail access to the airport has long been an ambition for Leeds, but the location of Leeds Bradford Airport and its topography meant any direct rail connection would be very difficult to achieve and would be prohibitively expensive.

According to the Council, the potential for a parkway station nearby to serve the airport by rail and both Leeds and Harrogate has now come about as part of the Connecting Leeds transport strategy, with the city receiving funding of £173.5m from the government to invest in transport network improvements.

Offering rail connectivity to the airport does not, however, remove the need for better road access.

“The latest figures from regional airports including Manchester show that 84 per cent of passengers travel to the airport by car or taxi despite there being direct rail links. Therefore, as Leeds Bradford Airport continues to grow, it is vital that we look at ways to alleviate increased traffic on the road network in north west Leeds as well as plans for a rail connection, Leeds City Council executive member for regeneration, transport and planning Councillor Richard Lewis said.

All of the key details on the proposals to be considered together will be available in the consultation, to take place early in 2019.

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POLAND: Polish railway company PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe SA has received EU funding for the reconstruction and modernisation of the partially disused railway line connecting Tarnowskie Góry and Zawiercie.

The EUR 117 million investment comes from the Operational Program Infrastructure and Environment 2014-2020 and will create a new direct rail access to Katowice Airport. The estimated journey time from Tarnowskie Góry to the airport is 17 minutes and from Zawiercie about 23 minutes.

The total value of the project is EUR 173 million and the construction works are planned to start in 2020 with the estimated opening in 2022.

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MALAYSIA – Express Rail Link Sdn Bhd (ERL) has partnered with BusOnlineTicket.com (BOT), an online booking portal for bus tickets and other services such as bus and hotel packages, train tickets, ferry tickets, tour packages, airport transfers and hotel promotions. This partnership is aligned with ERL’s mission to provide a seamless service experience that is fast, reliable, comfortable and convenient for travellers. For a limited time only, BOT customers can enjoy a special launch offer.

Speaking on the partnership, Noormah Mohd Noor, Chief Executive Officer of ERL said, “We are proud and excited to be partnering with BOT. This partnership will expand our customer base and reach out to BOT’s customers. Travellers will be able to plan their journey easily and purchase KLIA Ekspres tickets through BOT’s sales channel.”

Sales Director of BOT, Mr. Chong Kok Chuin also added, “This partnership will surely increase the convenience for travellers, especially tourists visiting the country. We can help ERL reach out to key markets outside Malaysia, such as China and Singapore, while offering our customers a quality airport transfer product. Our booking system is very user-friendly and informative. We are delighted to be partnering with ERL and offer the ease of a one-stop online booking portal service to our mutual customers.”

Starting from 19th September 2018 to 31st October 2018, customers will be able to purchase KLIA Ekspres tickets on www.busonlineticket.com and enjoy a special fare of RM48 for a Single Adult Ticket (normal fare RM55).

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Global AirRail Alliance (GARA) and the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB), an independent membership organisation which supports the rail industry through research, analysis, and insight, has joined forces to co-host a dedicated workshop during the annual Global AirRail Conference, taking place in London on 27-29 November.

The annual Global AirRail Conference and Awards is the only event bringing airports, rail operators, planners and suppliers from all over the world to discuss the passenger intermodality segment between air and ground.

This year we celebrate the 10th anniversary of GARA with a three day event, taking place in London on 27-29 November. The joint GARA and RSSB workshop will take place on 27 November and discuss key research projects on increasing market share of passengers accessing airports by rail, pricing and fare policies, impact of smart ticketing to revenues and much more.

The workshop is included in the three-day event ticket, but places are limited, so register today to guarantee your space in this interactive discussion!

Click here to register for the event >>>

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AUSTRALIA: An Australian pension fund consortium has announced a detailed plan for Melbourne’s long-awaited airport rail link, promising the fastest travel times, a premium around-the-clock service and enhanced access for regional Victorians.

AirRail Melbourne, comprising IFM Investors, Melbourne Airport, Metro Trains Australia and Southern Cross Station, have unveiled its blueprint for the development of the rail link with the Victorian and Australian Governments.
Under the $15 billion plan, AirRail Melbourne is proposing to match the $5 billion funding announced by both the Victorian and Commonwealth Governments to build a world-class link that unlocks additional rail capacity and creates thousands of new jobs.
 
"As Melbourne marches toward becoming Australia’s largest city our infrastructure needs to keep pace. Key to this is the development of the airport and all its elements to cope with a near doubling of passengers over the next 20 years. As we expand our runways and terminal facilities we also need world-class linkages between the airport and the city. Our vision is for a seamless passenger experience at the airport, properly integrated between the train carriage and the terminal, Melbourne Airport chief executive officer Lyell Strambi said.”

The airport rail link would offer 20 minute travel time to the city, with trains running 24/7 with 10 minute intervals during peak periods. One way ticket is estimated to cost less than $20 in today's prices.

If the plan is approved, the construction could start in late 2020.

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RUSSIA: RZD International and the group of Vietnamese investors headed by Lung Lo Construction Corporation, signed a partnership agreement on the Project of Construction of the Light Metro Line linking Tan Tạo - Linh Dong - Long Thanh Airport in Ho Chi Minh City and Dong Nai Province.

Under the agreement RZD International will provide expert support and prepare preliminary feasibility study for the project.

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USA: The Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) has started the renovation and expansion work on the BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport rail station.

The $4.7 million renovation will include an expanded waiting area, new ticketing facilities, a concession area and restrooms. Construction is expected to last 14 months.

“Our customers truly will appreciate the new features in the renovated MARC station at BWI,” said Andrea Farmer, MDOT MTA’s director of MARC Train. “We will provide not only a more aesthetically pleasing station, but a much more functional facility to best meet the needs of our riders.”

During construction, the station will continue to be open for both train and bus service. A temporary station at the north end of the site will continue to provide MARC and Amtrak customers with ticketing services, a waiting area and restrooms.

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Helsinki rail

FINLAND: Helsinki Region Transport (HSL) has approved all seven bidders who submitted the applications to operate commuter rail service, including the airport Ring Rail Line service, for 10 years starting in June 2021.

The approved bidders include two state rail companies - Finland's VR Group Ltd and SJ AB from Sweden. The remaining five bidders are Arriva Sverige AB, MTR Nordic AB, Transdev Sverige AB, First Rail Holdings and The Go-Ahead Group plc.

HSL will now conduct individual negotiations with the bidders with the aim to ensure that all the necessary details in the bidding and contract are taken into account.

"We are very pleased that so many qualified applicants participate in the bidding process. We have good chances to reach the goals of the competition," CEO HSL Suvi Rihtniemi said.

According to Rihtniemi, the goal of the tender is to provide a better functioning commuter rail services with lower costs. New operators will be task to improve the quality and reliability of the rail service as well as better integrate it to the wider public transport system in Helsinki.

The winner of the bidding is due to be announced in April 2020. The successful tenderer will be awarded a 10-year contract for managing and operating the commuter rail services in Helsinki area from June 2021.