Operator of New Orleans, Cincinnati streetcars picked to run Milwaukee streetcar

Transdev Services Inc. will be paid $3.6 million annually

A rendering of the Milwaukee streetcar, for which Milwaukee Composites plans to make the flooring.

Transdev Services Inc., the operator of the streetcar systems in New Orleans and Cincinnati, has been selected to operate the Milwaukee Streetcar.

The Paris-based company, with North American headquarters in Lombard, Illinois, will be paid $3.6 million annually for day-to-day operations of the streetcars and vehicle and facilities maintenance. The contract also includes five years of revenue service operations starting in late 2018.

A rendering of the Milwaukee streetcar.

Transdev will also hire and train staff and implement safety programs. Transdev will subcontract for vehicle maintenance with Brookville Equipment Corp., which is building the streetcar vehicles.

The contract went into effect in late August and runs through December 2023. the city has the ability to extend the contract by two to five additional years.

“The committee evaluated the companies on the criteria of experience and qualifications, past performance, understanding of our project, and approach and contract costs,” Ghassan Korban, commissioner of the Department of Public Works said in a memo to the Joint Committee on Downtown Streetcar Implementation.

Transdev was selected following a request for proposal that began in February and attracted five firms from across the country and Europe, Korban said. It also attracted a bit of controversy when the Milwaukee County Transit System briefly expressed interest.

“We are confident that Transdev will be an excellent operator of The Milwaukee Streetcar and offers the experience and know-how needed to make the system an unqualified success,” Korban said. “Its proposal ranked highest in terms of experience, qualifications and past performance, and it offered very competitive pricing.”

Transdev entered the streetcar operations business in North America in 2009 with its public-private partnership with the City of New Orleans. The company was asked to rebuild all of the red streetcars and much of the track and electrical infrastructure heavily damaged during Hurricane Katrina, according to the company’s website.

Transdev is also the operator of the Cincinnati Streetcar and began Detroit’s Q Line in May 2017.

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