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Template:Infobox company Keolis is the largest private sector French transport group. It runs passenger railways, tramways, bus networks, funiculars, trolley buses, and airport services. The company, based in Paris, is majority owned by SNCF, the French state rail operator.<ref name="WashPost" /> and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec also hold ownership shares. Its turnover (revenue) reached €4,1b<ref name="fig"/> in 2007. Keolis has over 52,600 staff in France, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, India, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, UK, USA and Sweden. It is the largest provider of public-transportation services in France.

Keolis designs transportation systems jointly with local governments and claims to strive to provide public transport that allies a spirit of service with innovation and efficiency.


In eastern Canada Keolis is involved in the operation of two intercity bus companies; Orléans Express and Acadian Lines. Keolis is also the operator of Lyon's public transit system.

In 2008 it was announced that the company was shortlisted in joint ventures bidding for the rights to operate the tram network<ref name="aus">Template:Cite web</ref>Template:Dead link and the suburban train network<ref name="aus"/>Template:Dead link in Melbourne, Australia. Keolis won the tram contract but not the train operation.

UK operations

In the UK, Keolis is a minority partner in the Govia rail operating company with Go-Ahead Group. Govia currently operates the Southern, Southeastern and London Midland franchises. Keolis itself also operates the Transpennine Express rail franchise in partnership with First Group.

Keolis lost out to FirstGroup (UK's largest bus and rail company) for the UK's Intercity West Coast rail franchise however FirstGroup's bid was later overturned after Virgin Trains, the incumbent identified major failings in the bidding and selection process.

Keolis is preferred bidder for the Nottingham Express Transit Tram Operation in Nottingham, UK as part of a consortium with the Wellglade Group.

United States operations

On October 16, 2009, the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) Operations Board approved an $85 million contract with Keolis Rail Services America to operate and maintain VRE trains for five years.<ref name=Buske09>Template:Cite news</ref> Keolis began operating VRE on July 12, 2010 after a two-week delay, ending Amtrak's 18 year tenure as operator.<ref name=Buske10>Template:Cite news</ref> Both Amtrak and Keolis had staffed the VRE lines with about 80 employees.<ref name=Buske09/><ref name=Buske10/> However, during the bidding, a group of Holocaust survivors and Maryland politician Heather Mizeur called for investigations into SNCF's role in transportation of Nazi prisoners to concentration camps during World War II before the Keolis contracts could move forward.<ref name="WashPost">Template:Cite news</ref> The operator of the train line, Amtrak, also challenged the propriety of hiring a foreign company.<ref name=Buske10/>

Keolis has also bid to run some California commuter rail segments and two MARC lines in Maryland, even though with the latter, the company is running into similar issues with the VRE bidding. Another group of Holocaust survivors, led this time by Leo Bretholz also requested investigations of SNCF's involvement in the war. As a result a law was passed to enforce this, leading to major criticism because SNCF had already documented their role in the deportation and had in fact released their archives for research and educational purposes in 1996. Eventually however, Keolis would lose to Canadian company Bombardier Transportation.

On November 29, 2011, Keolis Transit America, Keolis's US subsidiary, announced the acquisition of Tectrans Inc., a California-based privately held provider of contract transportation services. Tectrans holdings included in the acquisition included Mobility Plus Transportation, Western Transit Systems, and Diversified Transportation.

In August 2012, Keolis Commuter Services was one of two companies, Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Company (MBCR) and Keolis Commuter Services (KCS), to bid on a commuter rail contract for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) in Boston, Massachusetts. The contract was to operate 664 miles of passenger service. On January 8, 2014 it was released by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority that Keolis had won the contract for $2.68 billion over eight years, with the possibility for two two-year extensions that could bring the total price to $4.3 billion.

Keolis figures

  • 2.2 billion passengers annually
  • 23,600 buses and coaches
  • 4,875 rail km



External links