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M-1 Rail has issued a request for proposals for companies interested in operating and maintaining Detroit's future streetcar system. Proposals are due April 16.The contractor will begin working with the streetcar developer M-1 Rail at least a year in advance of the streetcar's operation, said Paul Childs, M-1 Rail's chief operating officer, in a press release.The contractor "will be instrumental in developing processes and procedures for operations and fulfilling all of the obligations required by federal, state and city government agencies," Childs said.Contractor responsibilities will include hiring operators; scheduling and training team members; developing customer service standards; safety; fare collection; maintaining vehicles, track, switches, signals, platforms, substations, overhead contact systems/charging bars; washing and cleaning vehicles; and report preparation.The initial contract with the operator will be five years, with M-1 Rail retaining the option to renew it for another two to five years. M-1 Rail officials estimate the cost to operate the streetcar at $5 million annually.M-1 Rail is a nonprofit organization leading the the design, construction and future operation of a 3.3-mile modern streetcar along Woodward Avenue between Larned Street and West Grand Boulevard in Detroit.
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