Sunday 19 June 2016

First and MTR to Bid for South Western Franchise

FirstGroup has announced that MTR Corporation (UK) will join the Group
in a joint venture to bid for the South Western rail franchise, following the
assent of the Department for Transport.

Commenting, Steve Montgomery, First Rail Managing Director said:

"We are pleased that we will be partnering with MTR in a joint venture to bid
for the South Western rail franchise, for which we were shortlisted in February
2016. We have extensive expertise of running commuter, inter-urban, regional
and long distance services - such as those that make up the South Western
franchise - and a strong track record in delivering passenger growth. MTR run
successful suburban and commuter railways; their knowledge from running London
Overground and TfL Rail on behalf of Transport for London will add further
depth and understanding to an important component of this franchise.

"Together, FirstGroup and MTR will develop an innovative and value for money
proposal that will deliver better connectivity and significant improvements for
South Western customers. Our bid will keep people moving and communities
prospering across the region."


1. MTR Corporation (UK) will take a 30% stake in the joint venture

2. Both FirstGroup and MTR hold 'Pre-Qualification Questionnaire Passports'
with the Department for Transport which shows that they have satisfied basic
financial and other competence criteria and allows them to Express an Interest
in submitting franchise bids to Government
3. MTR run the current London Overground concession in a joint venture with
Arriva. This operation serves Clapham Junction, the busiest station on the
network and a key hub for the South Western franchise. In addition, they have
been selected as the operator of the new Crossrail/Elizabeth Line service and
run TfL Rail services from London Liverpool Street station.

FirstGroup plc (LSE: FGP.L) is the leading transport operator in the UK and
North America. With £5.2 billion in revenues and 110,000 employees, we
transported around 2.2 billion passengers last year. Each of our five divisions
is a leader in its field: In North America, First Student is the largest
provider of student transportation with a fleet of around 47,000 yellow school
buses, First Transit is one of the largest providers of outsourced transit
management and contracting services, while Greyhound is the only nationwide
operator of scheduled intercity coach services. In the UK, FirstGroup is one of
Britain's largest bus operators running a fleet of some 6,200 buses, and are
one of the country's most experienced passenger rail operators, carrying around
140 million passengers last year.
MTR Corporation (MTR) is acknowledged as one of the world's leading operators of metro, commuter and airport rail systems and has a successful international consulting business. It is also a property developer, and manages shopping malls, retail units, apartments and other major buildings along some of its lines. Around the world, MTR: runs metro, light rail and Airport Express services and infrastructure, develops and manages significant rail-related property and is delivering new rail lines and major upgrade projects in Hong Kong; operates lines in Beijing, Shenzhen and Hangzhou in China; is lead shareholder in a joint venture operating the Melbourne train system and leads a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) consortium which will deliver and operate the Sydney Metro Northwest in Australia.