Hong Kong firm wins contract to operate Stockholm’s subway

Stockholm Public Transport (SL) on Tuesday announced that a €1.9 billion ($2.45 billion) eight-year contract to run the Stockholm Metro had been awarded to Hong Kong's subway operator, MTR.

“In competition with five other bidders, the Hong Kong based company MTR has won the right to operate the Stockholm Metro for the next eight years,” SL said in a statement.

MTR beat out the current operator, Veolia Transport of France, which was also in the running.

“MTR submitted the best bid from a quality standpoint and that was decisive in this procurement,” SL managing director Ingemar Ziegler said.

The Hong Kong company will take over responsibility on November 2nd.

Under the agreement, SL will pay a fixed price of 2.46 billion kronor ($293 million) per year, as well as 145 million kronor of financial incentives on punctuality, cleaning and customer satisfaction.

The contract includes a possible extension for an additional six years.

SL said it did not anticipate any radical changes when MTR takes over in November but expected the quality of metro services to improve.

The approximately 3,000 employees currently in the metro will be entitled to transfer to MTR, SL said.

In 2007, MTR won its first overseas franchise, a £700 million ($978 million) deal to run a London railway that will service the 2012 Olympic Games.