We want the next rail service to change people's views of public transport in Wales and make it the choice that can be relied upon to travel for work, to access services such as education or health services or to enjoy leisure time.
On behalf of the Welsh Government, we are procuring an Operator and Development Partner (an 'ODP') for the Wales and Borders Rail Service. It is our intention to create a rail service that benefits the whole of Wales, as well as communities along the border in England.
We have put improving quality at the heart of the future rail service. Our requirements include enhanced services, improvements to passenger comfort and quality of service, and transformation of the on-board experience. Better trains, stations and information systems are sought, particularly with regards to access for disabled people.
To inform this, we have spent the last year speaking with and listening to the views of passengers, non-passengers and stakeholders, and have used this to develop the outcomes that we expect from the new service. Bidders are incentivised to develop innovative solutions that meet and potentially exceed the outcomes set. We are laying the foundations for a culture of collaboration, developing strong working relationships that will continue through the delivery of the service.
As well as operating the Wales and Borders Rail service, the ODP will support us in developing plans for, and subsequently implementing and operating, the Core Valleys Lines as part of the South Wales Metro project.