Apr 01, 2019: Renewing the contract on operation and maintenance of the Dubai Metro, Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), the independent government roads & transportation authority in Dubai, has signed a contract with Serco Group, a British public services provider, until September 2021.

The new contract covers the operation & maintenance of the Dubai Metro Red Line Extension Project (Route 2020). This extension spans 15 kilometre and connects 7 stations (5 elevated and 2 underground), and the test-run of the service is expected to start in February 2020.

The Dubai Metro lines currently have a network length of 75 kilometre, which will increase to 90 kilometre with the Red Line expansion and will have over 120 trains running at peak times.

The contract was signed by Mattar Al Tayer, director general and chairman of the board of executive directors of RTA; and Rupert Soames, Serco group CEO signed the contract. Attending the ceremony were Baroness Rona Fairhead, minister of state for trade & export promotion and Patrick Moody, the British ambassador to the UAE.

“Serco has delivered operational performance levels in the Dubai Metro with a high train service availability of 99.9 percent and punctuality of 99.8 percent, achieving a record of 204 million journeys in 2018. RTA’s introduction of edge-cutting technologies of the rail operation industry also contributed to achieving these indicators,” said Al Tayer.

Under the contract, the company will provide operational & maintenance services to both lines of the Dubai Metro as well as Route 2020 involving the extension of the Red Line to the site of Expo. The contract also covers all metro assets such as trains, railways, and stations. It will also cater to the provision of high-class passenger transit services customised to the daily ridership demands.

The contract scope also covers operating and maintaining the fare systems of Dubai Metro and collecting the proceeds of selling and recharging NoI cards, besides recruiting & training citizens to achieve a set Emiratisation target. The RTA is keen on qualifying Emiratis and the transfer of knowledge of international expertise in the operation and maintenance of rail systems; a new field to the region.

There are many factors attributing the operation and maintenance of the Dubai Metro to be contracted to specialised world-class companies. These include the requirement to have specialised experience in undertaking critical tasks as well as the know-how in operating and maintaining sophisticated electronic, computer and mechanical systems essential for the metro operation.

“Moreover, contracting the operation & maintenance to specialised companies reduces the operational costs of the metro as private businesses are able to provide high-quality service and performance at lower costs through continuous improvements and value engineering. This allows RTA to focus on its core responsibilities of developing legislation and overseeing implementation & enforcement. Additionally, the practice of contracting the operations and maintenance of the metro is adopted in several rail systems worldwide such as London, France, Australia, Korea, and the USA metro lines among others,” explained Al Tayer.

Soames said, “We are delighted to have agreed this extended and expanded contract to continue operating and maintaining the Dubai Metro, which is amongst the largest and most reliable rail services in the world. We look forward to working in close partnership with the RTA in support of the preparations for Expo 2020 and beyond.”

This contract demonstrates the high confidence that RTA has in Serco to continue with delivering world-class levels of safety, operational performance, and customer service.

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