This is a particularly anticipated card, but one that could disappoint more than one. While Airparif and Île-de-France Mobilités (IDFM) publish this Monday the very first mapping of the air quality of Parisian underground railway enclosures, the results should struggle to satisfy the curiosity of daily users of public transport in the Paris region. . On the one hand, because the measurements were only carried out in 44 metro and RER stations and, on the other hand, because some of these measurements date from 2015. This nevertheless reveals interesting data for the large audience. In particular the fact that the three stations of Belleville, Jaurès and Oberkampf display high levels of pollution, while 31 stations reveal medium levels and 10 stations low levels.
“There is a real desire on the part of Île-de-France Mobilités to display transparency on air quality data, particularly in the interior spaces of the network,” said the general director of IDFM. , Laurent Probst. He notes in passing “that there are places where there are too many particle emissions, in which actions must be put in place” to remedy this, “and others where it is less urgent or even not useful. “Knowing where to act and where the emergencies are is not a simple job,” he concedes, referring to “data that are sometimes a little complex to obtain and process.”
An exercise in “transparency and reliability” in which Airparif has been participating for several years. “This is reliable information collected with devices capable of measuring fine particles, smaller than a hair, over a sufficiently representative period, taking into account the duration of exposure of passengers and the recommendations of ANSES (l “National Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety, Editor’s note),” explains Karine Léger. For the general director of the air quality observatory in Île-de-France, this “work base” must now “serve to inform citizens”, “make it possible to identify other stations to be treated” and “make recommendations on the measures to be put in place”.
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According to IDFM, this publication is in fact only “the first step” to offer more transparency to travelers and better inform them. Several environmental defense associations - such as Respire or Vert de rage - have in fact repeatedly denounced the "deception" of operators, such as the RATP, regretting that they do not sufficiently communicate to users the data relating to air pollution. According to Laurent Probst, it is now a matter of deploying concrete actions to combat air pollution on the networks, primarily in the three most polluted stations.
“Identified as priorities” by the RATP, these three stations will be subject to “special measures” in 2024. On the program: the renewal of a fan at the Belleville station, the increase in the power of an already existing fan installed and renewed another at Jaurès station, and the installation of two new double fans at Oberkampf station. And everywhere else, around forty fans in the Parisian network “are in the process of being renewed or will see their ventilation capacity increase”.
In addition, the organizing authority for public transport in the Ile-de-France region will deploy “other devices”, some of which are “experimental”, such as air purifiers. It also plans to replace the braking systems from 2024 on all RER A and RER C trains, with much less emitting materials, then “as quickly as possible” on metro lines including rolling stock. do not have the latest generation electromagnetic braking. That is to say the MP89, MF01 or MF05, which run on lines 1, 2, 4, 5 and 9.
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On the side of RATP, which nevertheless provided all of its data to Airparif with a view to developing this map, we nevertheless note that it “can under no circumstances be used to draw conclusions on a potential for danger. For Sophie Mazoué, sustainable development manager at RATP, “this work does not reflect the real exposure of travelers or employees”. These measurements “were only carried out on the platforms in 2019 and 2021” and “are not representative of the typical journey of travelers” who use both the corridors, the platforms but also the trains, she explains. Internally, the transport authority is calling for the publication, expected in a few months, of the first results of the campaign launched at the end of October and supposed to measure the level of pollution inside the trains on each metro line.
Airparif, which was mandated in February 2023 by IDFM to carry out this mapping, explains for its part that “in the absence of reliable data produced over the entirety of a typical passenger journey”, it was chosen to follow the methodology proposed by ANSES. For this, three sources were therefore taken into account: measurements from permanent sensors installed throughout the Ile-de-France network - the data of which is also accessible as open data on the RATP and SNCF website -, one-off measurements carried out by Airparif between 2015 and 2022 at the request of operators, and one-off measurements carried out by the operators themselves and the results of which have never been released to the general public. In addition, new measurements will be carried out in situ in the trains and in other stations by Airparif, which intends to provide a more complete map “extrapolated” to the 397 stations, planned for next June.