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The Boston Globe


Bidder for Mass. commuter rail job has much to prove

Own record, challenges of MBTA system may weigh on France’s Keolis

PARIS — It’s one of only two candidates in the bid for the Massachusetts commuter rail contract: heavy-hitter Keolis , a $6.6 billion French transit company that has thrown its hat in the ring as the lone challenger to the state’s current commuter rail operator.

Though the company is a major global brand, and runs the commuter rail in Northern Virginia, its bid comes with concerns about the company’s record of punctuality and customer service in France, and relative lack of US experience. Those concerns were magnified last month, when a commuter train operated by Keolis’s parent company derailed outside of Paris, killing six.

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