FRANCE: The Métropole Européenne de Lille municipal authority has renewed its contract with Keolis for the operation of the city’s Transpole public transport network, it announced on December 15.

The seven-year contract runs from April 1 2018, and covers metro, tram and bus services, as well as the V’lille bike-share scheme.

Having absorbed the previous operator, Keolis had effectively run the city’s VAL automated mini-metro network since it opened in 1983, but the incumbent had to fight off a strong challenge from Transdev when the operating contract was put up for renewal in 2016.

Keolis expects the new contract to generate cumulative revenues of €2bn; it has an objective to increase ridership to 223·7 million passenger-journeys by the end of the seven-year term.