On 1 October, Keolis Transit America started operating the Victor Valley network in San Bernardino County, Southern California, after being awarded the contract by Victor Valley Transit Authority (VVTA) on 13 September. Worth approximately $130m, the contract gives Keolis responsibility for a fleet of 114 buses – 89 of which run on natural gas, and three of which are electric – for a period of five years, with the option to extend it for an additional five years.
The new contract brings Keolis an additional three million passengers per year and 240 new employees to its workforce. The buses will operate from two depots, located in Hesperia and Barstow.
VVTA Executive Director Kevin Kane stated: “Here at VVTA we look forward to a long and successful partnership with Keolis. VVTA is at the forefront of providing innovative mobility options to the High Desert communities and we feel Keolis is at the forefront of providing professional transit services that will meet and exceed our expectations.”
Keolis Group International CEO Bernard Tabary said: “We are pleased to partner with VVTA and contribute our expertise in bus operations and maintenance from across the United States and Canada, as well as around the world. We are particularly proud to have managed the handover in a short time of 17 days. Our aim is to provide Victor Valley residents and visitors with a reliable, safe and on-time service whilst introducing innovations which deliver tangible improvements to the passenger experience.”
The bus network of Victor Valley, located in the Mojave Desert in San Bernardino County, covers 1,529km² and features 26 routes and two main transit centres. It encompasses several Southern California towns which are home to a combined total of 450,000 residents.