Keolis to operate future Grand Paris metro lines 16 and 17, but financing still uncertain

Ile-de-France Mobilités (IDFM) has chosen the competition by entrusting the future lines 16 and 17 of the Grand Paris metro to Keolis against the RATP, but its president Valérie Pécresse still threatens not to open new lines if she does not do not obtain the means to finance their exploitation.

Keolis, a 70% subsidiary of SNCF which presents itself as “the world’s leading operator of automatic metros”, will run these two lines when they open at the end of 2026.

A seven-year contract

Currently under construction through Seine-Saint-Denis, Val-d’Oise and Seine-et-Marne, lines 16 and 17 include a common trunk between Saint-Denis Pleyel and Le Bourget, line 16 then heading towards Clichy-Montfermeil and Noisy-Champs, and the 17 to the Villepinte Exhibition Center, Charles-de-Gaulle airport and Le Mesnil-Amelot.

The seven-year contract with an optional three-year extension, approved on Tuesday by IDFM’s board of directors, concerns the operation of the first sections to Clichy-Montfermeil and Le Bourget airport, with conditional phases for the extensions to Noisy-Champs and the Villepinte Exhibition Center, planned for 2028.

The last extension of line 17 from Parc des Expositions to Roissy airport and Mesnil-Amelot, announced for 2030, will be the subject of an amendment if necessary, according to an IDFM spokesperson.

RATP keeps control of the historic network

“We have chosen to favor (…) an amplitude of exploitation which goes beyond the historical network”, noted Valérie Pécresse in front of journalists.

“We are across popular departments with a lot of front-line workers who need to join the historic network which opens at 5:30 a.m. and therefore will start the lines at 5 a.m.,” she said.

If the RATP keeps the monopoly of the existing lines of the Paris metro until the end of 2039, the operation of future infrastructures is already open to competition and is the subject of calls for tenders.

A contract worth 300 million euros

The RATP, which was a candidate, allied with Alstom and the Singaporean ComfortDelGro, will remain manager of the Grand Paris metro infrastructure, according to the distribution of tasks provided for by law. In this regard, Valérie Pécresse regretted that the regional transport authority had not recovered the infrastructure.

“I trust the RATP in the spirit of public service which is the one pegged to the body of all its engineers to succeed in this squaring of the circle, to manage a given infrastructure to be exploited by a competitor”, he added. she scoffed.

In total, the amount of this contract, financed by IDFM, is around 300 million euros.

Valérie Pécresse awaits a response from the State

In this regard, Valérie Pécresse recalled that the institution she chairs did not have the slightest penny to finance the operation of the new infrastructures currently under construction in Ile-de-France.

IDFM will need an additional 1.4 billion euros per year when the Grand Paris metro is completed in the early 2030s. And as of next year, it needs to find 800 million (including 200 million to finance the transport of Olympic Games). However, the State did not respond to its calls, complained the elected official (LR). “For the moment no sound, no image. »

“What we want is a global response until 2030 to be able to see it coming serenely, and to be able to open these lines serenely. If we are not able to finance its operation, I will not open the lines in 2024,” she threatened. “Or it is the RATP and the SNCF who will take charge of opening these lines. »

recipe ideas

Among the revenues mentioned to make the network work, Valérie Pécresse cites an increase in the mobility payment (a tax on the payroll of companies), an increase in the tourist tax on hotel nights, a tax on plane tickets, an eco-tax or a contribution from the Métropole du Grand Paris. She says she wants to find resources from the Ile-de-France, but needs the green light from the State.

The opening to competition continues. IDFM must award on July 18 the operation of the “15 Sud” line, an arc of a circle south of Paris between Pont de Sèvres and Noisy-Champs which is due to open at the end of 2025.

2023-06-01 07:33:55
Pécresse chooses competition, but threatens not to open anything

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