First Transit in discussions to enter Indian bus market

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INDIA First Transit, a division of FirstGroup, is in discussions with Hinjewadi Techzone IT Park to operate employee shuttle buses at the Park in Pune, India.

The five-year contract will commence in April 2016 with a small initial fleet although bus numbers are expected to rise with expansion at both the Hinjewadi location and elsewhere in the country. First Transit will use its shuttle bus expertise from existing operations in North America and is working with local partner, bus manufacturer Tata, who will maintain the vehicles.

FirstGroup continues to explore opportunities for future growth which meet its criteria for returns and create long term sustainable value, while ensuring focus on core operations. This initial venture represents First Transit’s first contract in the employee shuttle market in India, where there are more than 20 similar IT parks served by an estimated 5,000 buses.

Formal contracts will shortly be signed by Techzone IT Park and FirstGroup subject to certain administrative conditions.

Commenting, Tim O’Toole, FirstGroup Chief Executive said: “Our First Transit division is a market leader in shuttle bus operations in North America where we have a pedigree of more than 60 years of experience and an unrivalled reputation for professionalism and innovation. We are pleased at this exciting new opportunity for the Group where we will bring our extensive shuttle bus expertise to provide a high-quality transport option for the benefit of the Indian market, and aim to build on this initial venture with further expansion into this sector.”