Press Release

Keolis, as part of the GrandLinq consortium, was selected by Region of Waterloo to operate and maintain a new light rail system in Ontario, Canada

May 13, 2014


Keolis, as part of the GrandLinq consortium, has been chosen to operate and maintain ION Stage 1 Light Rail Transit Project of Region of Waterloo.

-This new PPP contract will generate total revenue of approximately CAD 550 million (EUR 367 million) for Keolis over 33 years.

Region of Waterloo Light Rail Transit will be a major showcase in North America.




Region of Waterloo selected the GrandLinq consortium (that includes Keolis, Plenary Group, Meridiam, Kiewit and Aecon), to design, build, operate and maintain the ION Stage 1 Light Rail Transit (LRT) project of Region of Waterloo. The contract is a 33-year Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the Region of Waterloo, one of the fastest growing areas in Ontario, with an expected population increase of 200,000 residents (+35%) by 2031.   This new contract will generate approximately CAD 550 million (EUR 367 million) for Keolis over 33 years.

Through this contract, Keolis will operate and maintain the future system for 30 years and will also be involved during the 3-year design and construction phase.

This LRT system will initially comprise 19 km of track, 16 stops and 14 tram sets. Work begins this month and is scheduled for completion in 2017.

The Province of Ontario is leading the way in PPP models, which play a prime role in the local economic action plan to build new public infrastructure. For Keolis, this project is the first of its kind in North America and shows the capacity of the company to enter this highly competitive market.

“We are very proud to have been chosen by Region of Waterloo and we look forward to developing a strong partnership,” comments Bernard Tabary, CEO International, Keolis. “Bringing the operator’s perspective from the design and construction phase is essential to delivering an efficient and sustainable system. By using our “think like a passenger” approach we will bring a new travel experience to local citizens.”

Over the past 13 years, Keolis has successfully launched 18 new light rail systems. Keolis also has extensive experience managing PPPs around the world, including the LRT systems in Nottingham, UK and Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, which will both be fully operational by the end of 2014.

Through this new contract, Keolis strengthens its position as a worldwide leader in light rail systems and underpins its footprint in North America.

Staff recommend GrandLinq as the preferred team for ION Stage 1 LRT

February 28, 2014

Waterloo Region – After a thorough and comprehensive evaluation of the three proposals, Region staff have recommended the GrandLinq team to Council as the preferred team to design, build, finance, operate and maintain (DBFOM) ION Stage 1 light rail transit (LRT).

The team, made up of leading international organizations such as Plenary, Meridiam, Aecon, Kiewit and Keolis, submitted a proposal that satisfies the Region’s overall budget to implement ION Stage 1 LRT. The proposal also remains within the approved funding for operations and maintenance.

“This is an exciting and critical next step as we prepare to launch ION LRT in 2017,” said Darshpreet Bhatti, Director of Rapid Transit. “From a staff perspective, we are very satisfied with the recommendation. It is within budget and will allow us to deliver ION on-time to the community.”


Your itinerary is just a few clicks away – Orléans Express is now on Google Maps

MONTREAL, April 4, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ – Keolis Canada is proud to announce that it has posted the schedules and fares for all Orléans Express routes in Google Maps. Users can now access routes for some 200 municipalities and 8 regions of Quebec. Google Maps is an easy way to get complete public transit itineraries. The feature determines the best route available and provides links for users to purchase tickets from the Orléans Express website.

Travelers can even search by desired arrival time and have the system suggest the best route. Google Maps can also provide door-to-door itineraries for the Montreal-Quebec City corridor using data from the relevant cities’ transit authorities (STM and RTC for example).

“We jumped at the chance to partner with Google Maps—a popular, powerful, easy-to-use online tool for travelers,” explained Marc-André Varin, Vice President of Business Development, Marketing, and Communications with Keolis Canada. “Intermodal transportation is becoming increasingly popular, so posting all our information in Google Maps was a no-brainer. It will only strengthen Orléans Express’s position as a responsible transportation leader.”

Orléans Express: Putting innovation to work for riders

Partnering with Google is just the latest chapter in Orléans Express’ tradition of innovation. The company has already rolled out free onboard Wi-Fi and new buses equipped with seatbelts and electrical and USB outlets.

“We are pleased to welcome Orléans Express to Google Maps. This partnership shows Orléans Express’ commitment to innovating, as well as serving and attracting new riders. Together we can provide useful and accurate information to help people quickly get to where they want to go,” said Ryan Poscharsky, Strategic Partner Manager at Google.

This initiative was made possible by Evollia, an online business solution provider. The company developed a General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) file containing routes, schedules, stops, and fares and provided the technical support needed.

“Thanks to Evollia, we have a highly accessible online service catering to a wide range of current and potential customers, including travelers, students, retirees, people with reduced mobility, and tourists. We hope this tool will attract new users so they too can discover the many advantages of traveling with Orléans Express,” added Varin.

About Autocars Orléans Express

Founded in 1990, Autocars Orléans Express is the leading intercity passenger coach line in Québec. The company serves the Montréal – Québec corridor as well as the Mauricie, Centre-du-Québec, Bas-Saint-Laurent and Gaspésie regions. Its ultramodern fleet covers an average of 12 million km every year. Orléans Express also offers courier service through its Expedibus division, provides charter services, and operates bus stations, including Gare du Palais and Sainte-Foy Terminus in Quebec City. Orléans Express is owned by Keolis Canada.

About Keolis Canada

Keolis Canada specializes in passenger coach transportation in Québec. From scheduled intercity services to charter, airport, urban, school, and paratransit services, Keolis Canada is proud to provide safe, reliable quality service with a team of over 788 qualified, experienced employees.

Keolis Canada operates a fleet of 385 vehicles, including 75 intercity coaches, carrying 1.1 million passengers and over 1 million packages a year. Keolis Canada is owned by the French firm Groupe Keolis.


New offices for Keolis in China

Jean-Pierre Farandou, CEO of Keolis Group, has inaugurated this week new Keolis offices in China. These are located in Wuhan, one of the main cities in the center of the country.

March 2013

The Group will be operating the future intermodal hub of the Wuhan airport, which is planned to open at the end of 2015.

This is an important step for Keolis as it offers new opportunities in China.


Jean-Pierre Farandou went to China to inaugurate new offices in Wuhan, capital of the Hubei province. This important industrial centre counts 9 million inhabitants and has attracted, over the years, many French companies. Car manufacturers are particularly present. Keolis has shown an interest in Wuhan since 2009, the city is also twinned with Bordeaux, a French town in which Keolis operates the public transport network.

A major project for Wuhan

Keolis is positioned as the partner of the Wuhan metropolitan area, particularly for intermodality and took part into the design of the future intermodal hub of Wuhan airport’s new Terminal 3. The construction works of this terminal will start in April 2013. The future intermodal hub aims to become a real reference in China.

In agreement with the city, Serge Cridlig, who is currently Director of the Railway Experts Cluster at SNCF, will be the future General Manager of the new entity called « Wuhan Tianhe Airport Transport Center Operation and Management Company ».

Once the Terminal 3 is finished (end of 2015), Keolis will manage the intermodal hub – train, metro, bus, and parking – through a joint venture between Keolis China and Wuhan Transportation Engineering Construction Investment Group (WTECI), a public company reporting to the Transport commission that is in charge of building the centre.

A new development platform in the country

This project enables Keolis to start up in China with a solid reference in intermodality and will open a window of opportunities on similar projects throughout the country.

In China, the Group is particularly interested in operating, in partnership with local companies, metros, trams and in the long term, trains in suburban areas. Keolis’ networks in France, like Bordeaux, Lille, and Lyon, have already welcomed many Chinese visitors who have come to learn more about the Group’s unique know-how and the way they manage their relationship with local authorities.

Keolis continues to grow and strenghtens its leadership position in the mobility market

March 2013


Revenue reached nearly 5 billion euros, up 12.1% on 2011. Ebitda was up 4.8% at 287 million euros.

2012 reinforced the Group’s expertise in operating tramway and automatic metro systems with the launch of several tramways in France and the contract won to operate the future metro in Hyderabad, India’s 6th most populated city.

Keolis is aiming for revenue of 7 billion (excluding acquisitions) in 2017.

Keolis consolidates its leadership position in France…

In difficult economic times and a tough competitive environment, Keolis confirmed its leadership position in French urban transportation, by winning new contracts in Strasbourg and Amiens and renewing nearly all its contracts reaching their term (such as Rennes or Tours).

In interurban transport, Keolis has increased its market share by boosting its presence in the Rhone, Gironde and Alpes-Maritimes regions.

For its part, EFFIA successfully pursued its growth strategy and now ranks as number two in the parking sector in France with 115,000 spaces managed.

…  continues its international development…

2012 was marked by expansion into a thirteenth country, India, where Keolis won a contract in Hyderabad, the country’s 6th most populated city.

During the year, the Group also boosted its operations in Northern Europe, by taking a 100% stake in its Dutch subsidiary Syntus, in which it previously held 50%, by acquiring two school transport companies in Belgium, and by winning new contracts in Sweden.

It was also a fruitful year with tenders submitted particularly in North America, with positive outcomes at the start of 2013.

…and reinforces its range of expertise

World leader in light rail operations especially through the Melbourne network – the biggest in the world – in 2012 Keolis launched several tram services in France: Brest, Dijon, Orléans and Lyon.

Keolis confirmed its leadership in operating automatic metro systems by winning the contract to maintain and operate the future metro of Hyderabad. The future network will add 71km to the driverless metro networks that the Group already operates in Lyon, Lille, Rennes and Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport.

Keolis also confirmed its expertise in:

  • redesigning networks with the launch of new transport offers in Orléans, Arras and Agen;
  • ticketing systems with the launch of new solutions in several networks, the development of online ticket purchasing systems, and the preparation for the full scale launch of the NFC (Near Field Communication) ticketing system in Caen
The Keolis Group is continuing to increase revenue at a rate of 12% per annum on average…

Keolis Group’s 2012 revenue reached nearly 5 billion euros, up 12.1% on 2011.

Organic growth was 7.7%, due to business holding up well with new contracts in Orléans, Aix en Provence, Amiens and Nottingham. Some Keolis Sverige contracts which were won in 2011 were included in the 2012 accounts.

The acquisition of Tectrans (now called Keolis Transit America) in the United States at the end of 2011 and another two in Belgium, in addition to the increased shareholding in the Dutch subsidiary Syntus helped Keolis achieve additional 80.2 million euros revenue in 2012, representing an increase of 2.1% increase.

… shows increased profitability…

The Group’s profitability (Ebitda) reached 287 million euros, up 4.8% (+1.2% excluding changes in exchange rates and perimeter).

This increase was particularly affected by the profitability of the TransPennine contract in the United Kingdom, which has been extended with reduced margins.

Without TransPennine, the Group’s profitability was up 11.7% (+8.1% excluding changes in exchange rates and perimeter).

Net earnings reached 24.9 million euros.

… a financial structure which remains solid…

Control over debt and a good performance in terms of cash flow have allowed Keolis to report a financial leverage ratio compared to Ebitda of 1.58x at the end of 2012.

… and a stable shareholding structure

When the shareholding structure changed in spring 2012, AXA Private Equity disposed of its shares and SNCF (70%) and Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec (30%) reinvested in the company with a long term view.

The financial solidity and the stable shareholding structure of Keolis allow the Group to pursue its development.

Outlook for 2013

The Group which, at the start of 2013, has renewed contracts in the towns of Angers and Châtellerault, intends to:

  • continue its development through offensive tenders and acquisitions,
  • focus on the “Greater Paris” project, for which it intends to take advantage of its expertise in automatic metros and to create a complementary bus offer,
  • continue to develop EFFIA’s parking business,
  • structure offers to provide services (such as customer relationship, ticketing, traveller information, etc.)

Internationally, Keolis, which has reorganised its activities into 5 platforms of development (Continental Europe, United Kingdom, North America, Australia/New Zealand, new territories (China, Brazil, India, Middle East)) intends to grow in these regions either through tenders or acquisitions.

Early 2013, the Keolis Group, via its American subsidiary Keolis Transit America, won two new contracts: one is to operate part of the bus network in Las Vegas and the second one is a para transit contract in Fresno, California.

The Group has also opened offices in China, at Wuhan, where it will be managing the intermodal hub of the new airport terminal when it opens in 2015.

Keolis wants to confirm its position among the worldwide leading players of the public transport sector and has set a revenue target (excluding acquisitions) of 7 billion euros in 2017.

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Keolis wins a new contract in Las Vegas and strenghens its position in North America

Keolis Transit America (KTA), Keolis’ subsidiary based in California, will operate, as from the 7th July 2013, the majority of the bus network in Las Vegas.

February 2013

Yesterday, the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) awarded the southern fixed-route bus contract to Keolis Transit America (KTA). The five-year contract, extensible to ten years, is one of two management contracts for the Southern Nevada transit system. It will generate a total turnover of 500 million US dollars.

The whole network was divided into 2 lots with the objective of having 2 different operators running the services.

Keolis won the most important of the two packages (approximately 30 million passengers a year), which includes service along the resort corridor of Las Vegas Boulevard as well as the Deuce and SDX express route.

KTA won this contract as a result of its commitment, reliability and its capacity to understand and adapt to the local authorities’ needs and to build strong partner relationships with them.

The bus fleet counts 207 vehicles (55% of the whole network) including double decker buses and 50 BRTs (Bus Rapid Transit). These buses all use alternative energies (Gas and hybrid vehicles). There are 15 fixed routes including 10 local routes and five express routes. Keolis will be responsible for staffing, customer service, maintenance and general operations for the system.

“We are obviously very pleased that Keolis has been selected to manage and operate this essential component of the regional mass transit system in Southern Nevada,” said Michael Griffus, Chief Executive Officer for Keolis Transit America. “We believe that this system has great potential to grow and expand, and we look forward to partnering with the RTC to bring our commitment to quality service, customer appreciation and transportation best practices.”

Keolis has selected transit administrator Dwight Brashear as general manager for Southern Nevada operations. Dwight has more than 25 years of transit experience, starting first as a bus operator, rising through the ranks to manage the San Diego Transit system. He also has served as general manager and vice president for transit operations in other communities, including Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Washington, DC. In 2005, while serving in Baton Rouge, Brashear was selected by Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco to become the state transportation coordinator for the evacuation of the New Orleans area following Hurricane Katrina. Dwight joined Keolis Transit America in 2010 as executive vice president of business development.

A key milestone in North America This is a major step for Keolis in the USA and fits the growth strategy the Group has in this region, both in transit and rail activities.

“This new contract is the result of the successful integration of KTA in the Group,” comments Bernard Tabary, CEO International. “This will boost our growth on the US market in key areas: urban transportation, para-transit, shuttle services, and on-demand transportation. It shows that we can become a major player on this market, where we currently have several ongoing tenders”.

Keolis has been in Canada since 1999 and has had rail activities in Washington area since 2010 with the commuter service Virginia Railway Express. The creation of KTA at the start of 2012 (following the acquisition of Tectrans in November 2011) has opened new perspectives to the Group by complementing Keolis’ existing rail activities with a local expertise in transit and para-transit transportation.