STORSTOCKHOLMS Lokaltrafik, the regional transport authority covering the Swedish capital, has selected Vivendi subsidiary CGEA Transport to take over operation of its metro and tram networks for a 10-year period starting in mid-1999. The move follows an international consultation as part of SL’s ongoing programme of contracting out the operation of local rail and bus services.

Stockholm’s three metro and two tram routes are currently operated by SL subsidiary SL Tunnelbanan AB. It will also run the orbital light rail line which opens in August. Last year CGEA’s Swedish bus subsidiary Linjebuss won a five-year concession to run the city’s 891mm gauge Roslagsbanan commuter network, and earlier this year a consortium of VIA-GTI, Go-Ahead Group and BK Tåg was chosen to take over the main line commuter services currently run for SL by Swedish State Railway.

SL will sell a majority shareholding in SL Tunnelbanan AB to Vivendi, giving CGEA responsibility for 2500 staff and a turnover of SKr1·5bn. CGEA is expected to bring in management expertise from both Linjebuss and its British train operating franchisee Connex Rail.

According to Vivendi, the deal will increase CGEA Transport’s traffic to over 1 billion passengers a year. The group provides rail, tram and bus services in 10 European Union countries, Australia and the Philippines, with 28000 staff and 12500 vehicles.