ALSA, a Spanish and Moroccan division of National Express, has secured a €1bn ($1.1bn) bus contract in Casablanca, Morocco.

The contract has an initial ten-year term with an optional five years. It will be active from next month and will initially see the operation of 400 buses.

Next year, the number of buses in operation will increase to 700, helping to serve 100 million passengers a year.

The contract also involves the roll-out of new payment and scheduling systems and a network re-design.

ALSA has maintained a presence in Morocco for the past 20 years. This August, the company had successfully implemented the operation of over 400 buses in Rabat.

National Express CEO Dean Finch said: “I am delighted we have secured this significant contract in Morocco. This nearly doubles our presence in Morocco, which had already doubled in August with Rabat’s successful start-up.

“We will now operate more buses in Morocco than the UK. We look forward to serving the people of Casablanca soon.

“It is particularly pleasing that our track record for service excellence in Morocco was an important reason for our success. A similar reputation was also crucial to last week’s successful renewal and significant expansion of our second largest US transit contract, in Boston.

“It is through this consistent focus on excellence for our customers that we will continue to deliver growing shareholder returns.”