Monday, January 06, 2014

Report: MBTA mulls new operator

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Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) reportedly is considering replacing Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Co. (MBCR), its current contract operator of MBTA regional rail service.

Paris-based Keolis, whose majority owner is French National Railways (SNCF), is the favored replacement, according to a report in the Boston Globe.

MBCR has operated and maintained MBTA regional reail service for 11 years, succeeding Amtrak as the contract operator. Amtrak operated MBTA service for roughly 16 years.

Any change will require a vote from the MBTA Board of Directors, which could occur Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014.

"Keolis has been selected. The one thing remaining is the board approval," the Boston Globe quotes one source saying. "The T board is the wild card."

MBTA General Manager Beverly A. Scott reportedly was personally involved in the negotiations. MBTA officials so far have declined to comment, saying only that a recommendation for either Keolis or MBCR would occur either on Jan. 8 or Jan. 29.

Last month MBCR said it would build a $65 million train maintenance facility on the south side of Boston's South Station to allow for more efficient equipment repairs and serve as a job training center.