Keolis Commuter Services took over operations of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Commuter Rail on July 1.

Keolis, 70% owned by the French national railway SNCF, won a $2.6 billion, eight-year contract in January with an option for another four years to operate the commuter rail wing of the authority, which runs Greater Boston's mass-transit system.

According to a press officer from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, which oversees the MBTA, the contract includes more stringent performance criteria and "fewer acceptable excuses" for service delays.

The pension fund Caisse de Depot et de Placement du Québec owns the other 30% of Keolis.

Keolis survived a lawsuit by Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Co., which had operated the system for 11 years before losing the contract. Suffolk County Superior Court Judge Mitchell Kaplan in Boston three months ago struck down a petition that the MBTA acted illegally or capriciously in awarding Keolis the contract.

MBCR's owners are Veolia Transportation, Bombardier Transportation and Alternate Concepts Inc.

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