Leading the Streetcar Revolution
With a portfolio showcasing many of the most successful operations around the globe, it’s no surprise that cities in North America are continuing to award Transdev operational contracts for streetcar and light-rail systems.
Our streetcar operations in North America started in 2009 when we entered our first public-private partnership with the City of New Orleans. We operate the transit agency under contract to the City and Board of Commissioners. (See more about Transit in New Orleans here.) In 2009, we were tasked with rebuilding all of the red streetcars and much of the track/electrical infrastructure which was heavily damaged during Hurricane Katrina. We are proud to operate the oldest streetcar line in the world -- the historic green St. Charles Line streetcars -- and the famous red streetcars known as the “Red Ladies” that travel up and down the bustling streets of New Orleans.
Since 2009 we and the RTA have successfully added two major extensions to the New Orleans streetcar system, one in 2012 along Loyola Avenue which transformed a previously dark and isolated area into a bustling part of downtown. $2.7 billion in new economic development followed this extension, including condos, apartments, retail, restaurants, hotels and more. The second expansion occurred in fall of 2016, and extends through part of the French Quarter. Funds for the first extension were achieved by winning a TIGER Grant, which Transdev was instrumental in securing, and the second extension was funded from a bond issue that we helped our client execute. Streetcars are the backbone of the public transit system in New Orleans and over 90% of the bus routes we operate connect to the streetcar system, making this a shining U.S. example of intermodality.
Transdev has grown to become the largest operator of streetcar systems on the continent. In September 2016, the Cincinnati Streetcar opened to enthusiastic fanfare. Once Transdev was named as the selected operator, we worked closely with our client in Cincinnati for nearly a year before opening to submit detailed FTA-required System Safety Plans, to build training programs and hire and train operators, and to pre-test the vehicles and the system’s electrical infrastructure.
Transdev will begin operations of the Detroit Streetcar in the spring of 2017 and we are currently implementing our pre-launch process to guarantee successful operations from Day 1, similar to our preparations in Cincinnati.
The North American accomplishments mirror our success overseas operating some of the premier worldwide streetcar and light-rail networks. We have helped remove downtown gridlock and bolstered the commuting and mobility options with impressive light-rail systems in the French cities of Grenoble, Reims, Mulhouse, Montpelier, and Nantes, Barcelona, Dublin, Porto, and Sydney. In Hong Kong, we operate the only double-decker tram system in the world and have developed creative tools to deliver the top quality service customers on this popular streetcar system demand.
There are many more stories of success on five continents. We hope you will explore and discover why Transdev is one of the global leaders in streetcar and light-rail operations.
We often discuss safety in broad terms, but each location and each mode of service will bring different opportunities to instill a superior safety culture in tandem with the unique environment of each community. We are committed to training our operators to have the highest standards for safety – which is a genuine challenge in downtown areas with distracted pedestrians, increasing numbers of bicyclists and motorists of all types.
Safety isn’t only about exceptional training—it’s also about helping our clients ensure the public integrates with streetcars and is aware of the potential hazards. Varied constituents must understand how to safely co-exist with a new mode of transportation, including motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, bus operators, tourists, fire and police departments and more. Outreach and education are key to this continuous safety campaign and we support our clients in developing multi-faceted approaches to spreading this message.
We are committed to superior service at every level of customer care. This is more about a smile and wave: it’s about on-time performance, a safety culture that excels, fleet reliability, and providing passengers with the tools they need to make every step of the journey as easy as possible.
Transdev is pioneering technology to deliver digital tools that help passengers. In an on-demand world—where information is expected at the touch of a fingertip—we are building a suite of options helping people connect to public transit.
Our first-mile, last-mile smartphone solution, Transdev LINK, helps residents move efficiently from homes to bus stations and rail stops. Our mobile ticketing app and platform, deployed in New Orleans and Nassau County, Long Island, is allowing seamless journeys for a new generation of riders.
The differences in maintenance requirements between buses and streetcars are vast.
Streetcars are unique in all aspects. From underground or overhead catenary wiring, the vehicles, the routes and the rights of way: the entire composition of each location will determine the maintenance needs of the system. Once again, Transdev draws from our global best practices operating successful streetcar and light-rail systems.
To train staff at new locations, we send maintenance personnel to streetcar systems throughout the country and to learn from best practices. We have working relationships within the industry to help train new maintenance personnel on the intricacies of streetcar state of good repair. It’s this type of industry collaboration that helps Transdev maintain its status as the national leader in streetcar operations.