Establishing a link between the present and the future
The Greater Paris public transport network will be France’s flagship infrastructure programme for the next fifteen years and is therefore of crucial importance to the RATP group. First, the construction of 150 kilometres of new automatic metro lines will alleviate congestion on RATP’s multimodel network in Île-de-France. Secondly, RATP intends to be a major player in implementing the programme, providing its expertise in transport infrastructure and its world renowned know-how.
Since the end of the 1990s, we have been lobbying for a powerful new transport infrastructure in the Paris region. Since 2006, we have conducted many research studies demonstrating the merits of a solution based on a high-capacity automatic metro, a technology in which we are a world leader. Our unwavering belief and commitment was rewarded in early 2011 when the historical agreement was signed by the State and the Île-de-France Region for a €32 billion programme to upgrade and expand the Île-de-France public transport networks. The core of the agreement, representing about two thirds of the budget, is for the construction of an automatic orbital metro with 57 stations. On 26 May 2011, the transport network blueprint was unanimously approved by the supervisory board of Société du Grand Paris, on which the State, the Region and its eight departments are all represented. The public enquiry into the line 14 extension to Mairie de Saint-Ouen (Northwards), the first link in the future network, was opened in January 2012 and the work is scheduled for completion in 2017. The first sections of the new orbital metro are expected to come into service in 2018.
Two key strategic missions
• Playing an advisory role to the public authorities during the various phases of the programme, from initial studies through to operation, by leveraging our knowledge of the field, and contributing to decisions on core choices to be made by proposing appropriate solutions;
• Winning engineering contracts in our fields of expertise. Building the Greater Paris transport network will require some €2 billion worth of engineering work according to Société du Grand Paris (SGP).
In March 2011, SGP entered into a two-year framework agreement, renewable once, with selected engineering companies which will provide client representative services in the programme’s four main areas: railway infrastructure studies, railway transport systems studies, maintenance and siding site planning, and studies on stations and services.
Four core areas of expertise
The RATP group has been selected by SGP in each of the four engineering and maintenance areas. This success demonstrates the high level of confidence in the project management know-how and reputation of RATP and its subsidiaries Systra and Xelis. The engineering teams rapidly harnessed their energies to bid for subsequent contracts with SGP under the framework agreement. Although we did not bid for all the contracts, during the first few months our teams won bids for the contracts considered to be among the most strategic and falling within the Group’s core business expertise. These contracts represent about 70% of SGP’s total order. They reflect recognition of our leading position in engineering and our know-how
in developing all the components of a public transport infrastructure in a dense urban environment (including stations and maintenance workshops). Our engineering teams have also demonstrated their ability to be highly price competitive and to keep costs to the strictly necessary.
Public Private Partnership
As the final details of one of the Greater Paris routes (green line) – the Nanterre- Orly link via Plateau de Saclay – have not yet been agreed, the RATP group in consortium with Bouygues Construction and Siemens made a proposal to SGP to build this section in several stages, based on a light automatic railway, under a public private partnership (PPP).
First stage: extension of line 14 to Mairie de Saint-Ouen
In the short term, the RATP teams are swinging into action to begin work rapidly on the extension of line 14 to Mairie de Saint-Ouen, which will actively help to ease congestion on line 13, as is eagerly awaited by passengers.
The project, to be overseen jointly by STIF and RATP, will be 30%-financed by the French government via SGP and 70%-financed by the local authorities. The public inquiry took place from 16 January to 17 February 2012, with an opening date scheduled for 2017.
On Tuesday, 26 April 2011 RATP held a forum entitled “Line 14, a project bringing us closer together”, attended by Jean-Paul Huchon, President of the Ile-de-France region. Numerous representatives from local authorities, the business world and the transport sector took up RATP’s invitation to debate the development challenges facing the Ile de France (Greater Paris) region.
More than ever, RATP reaffirmed its support for the goals of the Grand Paris Express project and is making its expertise and know-how available to public decision-makers to facilitate its implementation. During his address, Pierre Mongin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of RATP, also expressed his strong support for extending line 14 to Roissy.
The highlights of this debate are available in an offprint published in the May edition of Transport Public magazine.
A few key dates