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Experienced Rail Operator Connex To Run Trains

Experienced Rail Operator Connex To Run Auckland's Trains

26 November 2003

Experienced international rail operator Connex has been chosen to run Auckland’s passenger trains, the Auckland Regional Council announced today.

The contract is for four years and can be extended for up to an additional three years.

ARC Passenger Transport Committee Chair, Councillor Catherine Harland said the parties were now entering commercial negotiations and intended to finalise the contract by January.

“Connex is our preferred tenderer and, subject to successful negotiations, will take over operation of the rail network from Tranz Rail by 1 July 2004,” she said.

“This is an exciting development for public passenger transport in Auckland and we’re confident Connex will deliver an improved service for the thousands of commuters and school children who travel by train every day.”

Cr Harland said Connex has an exceptionally strong track record in passenger transport operations and successfully operates a number of rail franchises around the world.

“They’re one of the world’s leading passenger transport providers, with more than a century’s experience across five continents.”

Connex runs train and bus services in 22 countries, including Melbourne- Australia, Britain, the United States and throughout Europe, Scandinavia, the Middle East and South America.

It has more than 55,000 employees and it carried 1.4 billion passengers last year.

Cr Harland said an evaluation panel has carefully considered the three tenders submitted against a stringent set of criteria. Connex scored the highest, ahead of Serco and Stagecoach.

“The tenderers were judged on a range of factors, including their ability to work in partnership with the ARC, quality of service, technical competency, cost and revenue management and the ability to manage change.

“Price was obviously a consideration although the most important factors were the ability to partner with the ARC to deliver and build a high quality service.”

Mr John Goulter, formerly Managing Director and CEO of Auckland International Airport, was appointed by ARC to act as an external independent peer reviewer of the evaluation process.

Connex will be taking over responsibility for the operation of the train services.

ENDS

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