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Virginia Railway Express (VRE) and Keolis officials announced today they've agreed to extend Keolis’ commuter-rail service operation contract for five more years.The contract, which includes train maintenance, is valued up to $21 million for the first year. Keolis has operated VRE trains between northern Virginia suburbs and Washington, D.C., since 2010. Under terms of the contract, Keolis will be eligible for another five-year extension in 2020, VRE officials said in a press release."Keolis assumed operations of the VRE five years ago with a strong focus on safety, operational excellence and providing an outstanding passenger experience, and they have more than delivered," said VRE Chief Executive Officer Doug Allen. "Passengers often tell us how pleased they are with our service, and that is due in large part to the work of the Keolis team."Keolis officials said VRE's customer-service scores rose sharply and on-time performance measurements have continued to improve since 2010."Our commitment to the VRE was to provide passengers with an outstanding service and we are pleased that the board recognized our achievements by extending our contract," said Gregg Baxter, president of Keolis Rail Services America. "Our strong relationship with the VRE was an important factor, and we look forward to being part of the ongoing success of the service as the VRE system continues to grow in the coming years."