M-1 RAIL NEWS

Transdev Services Inc. Selected as QLINE Operator

Posted: 06/30/16

Author: Eric Larson
Original Source: Detroit Free Press

Detroit’s streetcar has its operator.

M-1 Rail, the organization overseeing the QLINE, has inked a five-year, $15.5-million contract with Transdev Services Inc., of Lombard, Ill., for operations and maintenance. The contract is renewable for up to an additional five years.

Today’s announcement puts in place a key part of the rail line’s future as it continues to push to begin operations next year along 3.3 miles of Woodward Avenue.

Paul Childs, M-1 Rail’s chief operating officer, noted the company’s experience with other streetcar systems. The company has been working on the New Orleans streetcar system, was brought in to operate the Atlanta streetcar in the midst of challenges with its city-overseen operations, and is working with the Cincinnati streetcar as it prepares to open in September, officials said. The company is also involved with several streetcar systems overseas.

“We’re the parent company, we don’t have any true experience in operating a streetcar,” Childs said. “They brought an immense amount of experience with them and credibility.”

In a news release, Childs said “our partnership with Transdev ensures the QLINE will provide a safe, reliable and best-in-class transit experience for our ridership.”

The company plans to hire approximately 25 people, including about 14 streetcar operators as well as maintenance and management employees. Ken Westbrook, president of Transdev’s Rail Division, said the timing for hires depends on the delivery of streetcars, which is expected this fall. It takes about six to eight weeks to train a streetcar operator.

Construction of the rail line should be largely completed this year with the system operational by spring of 2017, officials say.

Safety will be a key concern, Westbrook said.

“You’re running streetcars in mixed traffic so safety is paramount,” Westbrook said.

*Original Article Posted on the Detroit Free Press.

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Be engaged and get informed! Join M-1 RAIL as we host the March Community Advisory Council Meeting Thursday, March 9, 2017, at Triumph Church’s East Campus. The countdown to M-1 RAIL passenger ridership is on and there will be some adjustments to how you navigate the corridor. Please join M-1 RAIL for an important community conversation to learn about QLINE operations, testing schedule and the launch of our public safety education campaign.

This special CAC meetings will cover driving, cycling and walking along the Woodward Corridor, as we all now share the road. There will be a light dinner served and children’s activities will be available. There will also be sign language interpretation services available for community members who are deaf or hard of hearing. This meeting is open to ALL.

For more information and to RSVP please contact the M-1 RAIL Community Relations department at 313-483-8077 or via email at info@m1rail.org.
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M-1 RAIL Community Advisory Council Meeting

March 9, 2017, 5:30pm - March 9, 2017, 6:39pm

Be engaged and get informed! Join M-1 RAIL as we host the March Community Advisory Council Meeting Thursday, March 9, 2017, at Triumph Church’s East Campus. The countdown to M-1 RAIL passenger ride...

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