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

Keolis, a 70% subsidiary of SNCF that 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, the 16 then heading towards Clichy-Montfermeil and Noisy-Champs, and the 17 towards the Parc des Expositions de Villepinte, Charles-de-Gaulle airport and Le Mesnil-Amelot.

The seven-year contract with three years of optional extension, approved Tuesday by IDFM's board of directors, concerns the operation of the first sections to Clichy-Montfermeil and Le Bourget airport, with conditional tranches for the extensions to Noisy-Champs and the Villepinte Exhibition Centre, scheduled 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 spokesman.

RATP keeps control of the historic network

"We have chosen to focus (...) an amplitude of exploitation that goes beyond the historical network, "said Valérie Pécresse in front of journalists.

"We are in the crossroads of popular departments with many front-line workers who need to join the historic network that opens at 5:30 a.m. and therefore will start the lines at 5 a.m.," she said.

While RATP retains a monopoly on existing Paris metro lines until the end of 2039, the operation of future infrastructure is already open to competition and is the subject of calls for tenders.

A €300 million contract

The RATP, which was a candidate, allied with Alstom and the Singaporean ComfortDelGro, will remain in any case manager of the infrastructure of the metro of Greater Paris, 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 to the spirit of public service that is the one pegged to the body of all its engineers to succeed in squaring the circle, to manage a given infrastructure to operate to a competitor," she said.

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 per year when the Grand Paris metro is completed in the early 2030s. And next year, it needs to find 800 million (including 200 million to finance the transport of the Olympic Games). However, the State has not responded to his calls, complained the elected (LR). "So far no sound, no image."

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

Recipe ideas

Among the revenues mentioned to operate the network, 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 ecotax or a participation of the Métropole du Grand Paris. She says she wants to find resources in the Paris region, but needs the green light from the state.

The opening up to competition continues. IDFM is to award on July 18 the operation of the line "15 South", an arc south of Paris between Pont de Sèvres and Noisy-Champs that should open at the end of 2025.

  • Local
  • Paris
  • Ile
  • Greater Paris
  • Subway
  • Transport
  • Île-de-France Mobilités (IDFM)