As sole bidder, incumbent Veolia Transport has been awarded a nine-year contract to operate the public transport network in the French city of Saint-Etienne from July 1. The contracting authority is to pay €287m a year, while Veolia has agreed to contribute €1m towards the acquisition of three new trams for its 1000 mm gauge network.

Strathclyde Partnership for Transport has appointed Systra as technical advisor for its procurement of new trains, signalling and train control systems for a modernisation of the Glasgow Subway (RG 5.12 p16).

On behalf of a group of local councils, preliminary studies are underway for a light rail network in the Norwegian city of Stavanger. It would be developed in phases to serve the university, Sandnes and Sola and later the airport.

KfW IPEX-Bank is providing a €32m loan to support the use of German and European technology including Bombardier signalling on the 17 km Istanbul metro line M6 project.

Bilbao’s single tram route was extended 700 m from Hospital to Basurto and La Casilla on April 2.

BTS Group has signed a new contract to operate and maintain Bangkok‘s Skytrain elevated metro until May 2 2042. The 30-year deal replaces separate contracts covering the original route and extensions. The city will receive the fare revenue and pay BTS a fee based on train-km, ridership and costs.

Arad is to use a €10m EBRD loan to acquire trams and depot equipment.

Kassel tram operator KVG is undertaking a €3·45m project to extend stops on Line 1 to enable trams to run in pairs when special events generate extra traffic.