PRTC Awards Keolis with Five-Year Transit Services Contract

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Provided by OmniRide

The Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC) Board of Commissioners has awarded Keolis Transit Services LLC a five-year contract to operate and maintain its OmniRide bus service in Northern Virginia. Keolis will begin operating the OmniRide service on Nov. 1, 2020. Keolis has already begun changeover activities to ensure a smooth transition that will be invisible to riders.

Keolis provides safe, reliable mobility services to millions of passengers in the United States. With the rider experience at the forefront, Keolis carries over 100 million passengers each year on local, commuter, paratransit, and commuter rail services in 12 cities. This includes the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) commuter rail service, which PRTC co-sponsors with the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission.

Prince William County Supervisor Margaret Angela Franklin also serves as PRTC Chair. Franklin said, “This partnership with Keolis will help OmniRide move forward to evolve our current mobility options for the County as well as look for new opportunities to run safe, efficient and effective public transportation. We look forward to a successful partnership with Keolis.”

In the competitive procurement process, Keolis impressed PRTC’s evaluation committee with its extensive knowledge of the region as the operator of VRE, its nationally and internationally renowned best practices with bus service, and the in-person interview. Out of three companies that submitted proposals, Keolis also scored highest on the five evaluation criteria.

Perrin Palistrant is Director of Planning and Operations for OmniRide. Palistrant said, “Those results assured the evaluation committee that Keolis was the right candidate to take over operations of OmniRide’s commuter, local, and paratransit service. They have the maintenance of our assets, as well as the safety and health of operators and passengers, at the forefront of their business model.  Additionally, the cost model submitted provides PRTC flexibilities to adjust service levels in the future based on service needs, and allows for more control of costs and more predictable budgeting.”

A New Procurement

In June 2019 the Commission authorized OmniRide to conduct a new procurement for operations and maintenance contractor services, which currently are performed by First Transit Inc.  The new procurement was not due to performance issues with First Transit, but because the contract with First Transit was expiring and OmniRide is required to issue a new procurement. Also, OmniRide wants to further evolve the operations and maintenance contract due to major changes in service design, new technologies, and the planned opening later this year of a new OmniRide maintenance facility near I-66 and the Prince William Parkway.  OmniRide thanks First Transit, the organization’s operator since 2003, for its excellent service and partnership over the past 17 years.

OmniRide is an essential mobility provider for residents of Prince William and surrounding counties with local bus service along routes in Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park; Express service for commuters between Prince William County and major employment centers in Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C.; and Metro Express which connects riders with nearby Metro Stations. OmniRide is also conducting a pilot paratransit service for riders with disabilities.

For more information on OmniRide services visit or contact Customer Service at 703-730-6664.


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