First tests are conclusive
As we operate close to 350 bus routes in the Île-de-France region, we have been committed since 2014 to a major technological and ecological change that will make us a world leader, with our 25 bus depots converted to electricity and biomethane by 2025! The conversion of our bus depots is part of the Bus2025 programme, which is in line with Île-de-France Mobilités’ drive to remove diesel buses from the network across the Île-de-France region. By the end of 2024, Bus2025 is set to halve CO2 emissions that are generated by bus operations. The project will also significantly contribute to RATP achieving its goal of reducing GHG emissions by 50%. The programme will make it possible to lower overall pollutant emission.
These initiatives demonstrate how RATP is working with Île-de-France Mobilités to radically transform its industrial facilities (bus depots) and fully renew its bus fleet.
Works to convert bus depots
In order to accommodate new electric and biomethane buses, large-scale works will need to be conducted at the bus depots. RATP maintains buses in 25 industrial facilities across Paris and its inner suburbs, some of which are over a century old.
- 13 bus depots have to be refitted so that they can be fully equipped to host electric buses: Lagny, Corentin, Pleyel, Lilas, Belliard, Lebrun, Croix-Nivert, Malakoff, Point-du-Jour, Asnières, Charlebourg, Vitry and Neuilly Bords de Marne.
- 12 bus depots have been converted to accommodate biomethane buses: Créteil, Bussy, Massy, Nanterre, Thiais, Aubervilliers, Pavillons, Flandre, Ivry, Saint-Denis, Saint-Maur and Fontenay-aux-Roses.
Learn more on how biomethane is transported.
The bus depot conversion scheme is a massive industrial undertaking for RATP as works will be carried out simultaneously at 15 bus depots. These works will mobilise the full range of the Group's skills, including contributions from our subsidiary RATP Real Estate regarding electric bus depots.
Essentially, the works consist of connecting the bus depot to the grid and biomethane distribution network, installing transformers for electricity and gas compressor stations, installing fast charge lanes for biomethane and charging stations for electricity, ensuring compliance with fire safety and environmental standards, and adapting maintenance workshops to these new technologies.
- These large-scale works impose a meticulous level of organisation in bus depots. In addition, infrastructure works must be conducted without disrupting daily bus depot operations. As space is required for the equipment used in the conversion project, bus routes may occasionally be diverted, or equipment may need to be stored in outdoor facilities. The teams that oversee the works and the operational unit are working Maintenance workshop technicians face considerable challenges with the need to master new technologies.
- New maintenance professions also have to be involved in electric charging and biomethane infrastructures.
- Bus drivers need to be familiarised with the operation of new buses.
Status of works in autumn 2023
The Créteil, Massy, Bussy, Thiais and Nanterre bus depots have already been converted to biomethane while the Lagny, Corentin, Les Lilas and Pleyel sites have been converted to electricity.
Since the beginning of 2023, the Lebrun, Aubervilliers, Malakoff and Pavillons bus depots have also joined the programme.
In total, the 25 RATP bus depots will be refitted and upgraded by the end of 2024 (excluding real estate projects) and will be equipped with electric, biomethane and hybrid buses.
500 buses will be commissioned yearly between 2022 and 2024. In total, 1,600 electric and biomethane buses serve the network in October 2023.
Phased conversion of bus routes to electricity and biomethane
By the end of 2024, RATP is set to operate an eco-friendlier bus fleet in the Île-de-France region, The clean bus fleet boasts 4,700 vehicles, including approximately 1,000 electric buses and 1,400 biomethane buses.
To step up the deployment of clean buses across the bus routes, several calls for tenders have been launched in phases over the past few years to factor in deliveries until the end of the programme.
Since 2014 > Purchase of hybrid buses
- As early as 2014, every new call for tenders was related to hybrid-, electric- or CNG-powered buses.
2015 – 2017 > Testing, launching of the first studies and the first markets
In order to get better acquainted with an entirely electric technology, testing and studies on all the existing bus and charging system solutions were carried out.
- 2016: conversion of the first standard bus route to electricity with bus route 341 (note: the bus route has since converted to hybrid along with the Belliard bus depot conversion).
- 2017: testing continues with the conversion to electricity of bus routes 115 and 126
- Launching of conversion studies regarding the first electric- and CNG-powered bus depots (Corentin, Lagny and Créteil) and of the call for tenders regarding buses.
2018 – 2025 > Construction site massification and bus fleet deployment
The project is set to become a larger-scale undertaking with the completion of the conversion projects on the 25 remaining bus depots. Up to 15 bus depots will be undergoing works simultaneously.
- 2019: completion of the CNG infrastructure works in Créteil and commissioning of the first electric-powered buses in Lagny and Corentin. Signature of the first contracts for the mass deployment of electric- and CNG-powered buses.
- 2021: completion of the electric site projects in Pleyel and Lilas as well as the CNG site projects in Thiais and Nanterre. Signature of the latest bus provision contracts.
- 2022 to 2024: completion of the electrical infrastructure in Lebrun, Malakoff, Point-du-jour, Croix-Nivert, Vitry, Asnières and Neuilly as well as the CNG infrastructure in Pavillons, Aubervilliers, Flandres, Ivry Fontenay-aux-Roses, Saint-Denis, Saint-Maur and Villiers-le-Bel. RATP will deploy nearly 500 new buses every year.
New bus depot in Villiers-le-Bel
A new bus depot will be built in Villiers-le-Bel. Over a 1.7-hectare plot, the depot will accommodate an open-air parking bay with a capacity of 140 standard-size spaces, which can hold the equivalent of 34 articulated and 76 standard buses. A maintenance workshop will also be built on the site. Find out more on the Villiers-le-Bel bus depot construction project.
Real estate programmes over bus depots
For over 30 years, RATP Group has pursued an ambitious, innovative real estate policy, which aims to ensure the urban integration of its industrial sites while encouraging their functional diversity. By transforming its strong property portfolio of approximately one hundred industrial and office sites located at the heart of the city (maintenance workshops, bus depots, logistics platforms and others), and by contributing to the development of the public transport network, RATP Group is strategically positioned as a stakeholder shaping the city. Two major real estate projects over the Lagny and Corentin bus depots have already been completed in conjunction with the bus depots' energy transition.
As part of restructuring the Belliard bus depot, the project includes a mixed-use urban development that comprises family housing, a co-living residence, a social residence, workspaces, shops, a community centre and a 1,600-m² rock climbing gym. Discover the urban programme conducted in agreement with Île-de-France Mobilités and the City of Paris.
The European Commission supports the Bus2025 programme, which demonstrates the commitment that Île-de-France Mobilités and RATP have made to their energy transition. Since 2020, the Commission has awarded three successive grants totalling close to €55 million for the energy conversion of some bus depots and the purchase of electric buses. These European subsidies are supplemented with a loan from the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignation for the same amount.