USA: District of Columbia Department of Transportation has selected a subsidiary of Paris transport operator RATP to operate and maintain the 3·3 km tramway under construction in Washington DC.

The line on H Street and Benning Road with seven stops is scheduled to open by the end of 2013 as the first stage of a proposed eight-line network.

RATP Dev McDonald Transit has been specially created for the DDOT contract by RATP's contract operating business RATP Dev and its local subsidiary McDonald Transit Associates.

RATP Dev currently operates buses in 15 US states. 'This is one of the first times an American authority has decided to entrust a private operator with the running of its trams', said Dunant Mathieu, Chief Executive Officer of RATP Dev America. 'This is a very strong endorsement for RATP Dev. The goal is to combine the experience of our local subsidiaries in the US, with the internationally recognised expertise of the RATP Group for the benefit of customers.'

RATP subsidiaries operate trams in Paris, Manchester, Alger, Firenze and Hong Kong.