Dubai RTA signs tram operations deal with Serco
Dubai, September 16, 2013
The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) of Dubai has signed Dh105 million ($28.6 million) contract for the operation system of the Dubai Tram with the British Serco Company for a period of 75 months starting August.
The period includes 15 months preparations for operation; covering the recruitment and training of employees in addition to 5 years of operation.
The project contractor (Alstom-Besix consortium) will take on the maintenance of the project for 13 years and can be extended for additional five years.
The agreement was signed for the RTA by Mattar Al Tayer, chairman of the board and executive director of the RTA and for Serco by David Campbell, CEO of Serco for MEA, Asia and Australia.
“Serco has been selected for the operation of the Dubai Tram system following a tender put out by the RTA for which a bunch of world-class companies specialized in rail operation & maintenance have taken part,” said Al Tayer.
“Following the assessment of proposals submitted, Serco has been nominated for submitting the best offer, and the company has experience in operating and maintaining a number of metro and rail lines across Europe and Australia.
“As per the contract, the company will provide operation services for all assets of the tram system, and offer transit services to users at high-class standards tailored to the daily changes, besides protecting RTA’s assets, and operating the revenue system, and the collection of Nol cards selling & recharging proceeds,” he explained.
“The company will also fully coordinate with both the construction contractor during the tests to be carried out in the pre-operation phase, and the maintenance contractor during the operation period. It will also attend to providing high safety levels for network users and cater to the full coordination and integration between the tram, metro and various transit means.
“The contract contains an article that provides for the commitment of Serco to transfer the workforce to the RTA, or any other entity selected by the RTA, upon the expiry of the contract,” he added.
Tasking the operation and maintenance operations of the Dubai Tram to specialized world-class companies is attributed to a host of reasons highlighted by the fact that the operation of the tram warrants experience in scheduling the tram’s operational lines as well as host of sophisticated electronic, computerized and mechanical systems, said Al Tayer.
"The Dubai Tram Project, which serves Jumeirah Beach Residence, Marina and Al Sufouh districts, has witnessed an accelerated work tempo recently. The test run of the tram was conducted in the facilities of Alstom Company in France, including various tests such as safety systems, electric propulsion system of the tram coaches, braking system, sudden stop during emergency cases, ground power feed of the tram track, overhead power feed in the Depot, and the tram’s doors operation mechanism,” Al Tayer continued.
“Once the trams start arriving in Dubai next December, the RTA will commission other trial tests on the test track and these tests will roll on till the official launch of the tram service in November 2014."
Campbell said the tram operation contract WAS important step cementing the existing strategic partnership between the RTA and Serco, which operates the Dubai Metro Red & Green Lines since inception on 9/9/2009.
Luxury and safety
The Dubai Tramway extends 14.6 km alongside Al Sufouh Road, and the initial Phase of the project envisages the construction of a 10.6 km-long track starting from the Dubai Marina and stretching up to the Tram Depot near Dubai Police Academy.
The tram network comprises 17 passenger stations, 11 of which are covered under Phase I and spread across activity and population density areas along the tramway. The fleet comprises 11 trams in the initial phase, and 14 trams will be added in Phase II to make a total of 25 operating trams. The tram is expected to lift about 27,000 riders per day at the start of operations in 2014, and the ridership is bound to hit 66,000 riders per day by 2020.
The Dubai Tram is considered the world's first tramway project powered by a ground-based electric supply system extending along the track, thus obviating the need for catenary cables.
It is also the world's first tramway that uses Platform Screen Doors in passenger stations fully aligned with the tram's doors opening and shutting mechanism, providing maximum convenience, safety and security for passengers, and at the same time protecting the quality of the air-conditioning in the interior of both stations and carriages from external climatic conditions.
Each train measures 44 meters in length and has a capacity to accommodate about 300 riders. The Tram has a First Class (Gold Suite) and one cabin designated for ladies & children as well as a Silver Class cabin.
The tram's carriages & stations will have deluxe interior finishing, and feature state-of-the-art technologies in the transmission and display of entertainment materials, with a passenger lounge of 44 meters.
The tram track basically extends at grade level along Al Sufouh Road but rises in an elevated section passing across certain parts of Dubai Marina due to the urban constructions in the locality.
It links up with the Metro system at 2 stations, namely Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Lakes Towers via footbridges to facilitate the mobility and exchange of passengers between the two transit modes. The Tram will also be linked with the Monorail of The Palm Jumeirah at the entrance of the Palm from Al Sufouh Road to facilitate passenger movement between districts served by both modes. – TradeArabia News Service