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Paris 2024: 72 days before the Olympic Games, metro and RER lines remain in difficulty

The Ile-de-France residents will have to be patient.

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Paris 2024: 72 days before the Olympic Games, metro and RER lines remain in difficulty

The Ile-de-France residents will have to be patient. This Tuesday, during a hearing of the RATP and the SNCF, Valérie Pécresse, the president of the Île-de-France region, took stock of the quality of the public transport network in the region. If the elected official welcomes “a recovery” in the service offer between April 2023 and April 2024, several lines still remain in difficulty, a few weeks before the Olympic Games.

Already singled out in April 2023, line 8 is still “in difficulty”, according to data collected by Île-de-France Mobilités (IDFM), which was not detailed during the meeting. At the same time, three metro lines remain “fragile”: the 3, the 6 and the 13. The 11 and the 12, previously “fragile”, returned “close to their objectives” in April 2024. In total, ten metro lines record an offer “above 90%” of the objective by IDFM.

“The whole company is in battle order,” assures Jean Castex, CEO of the RATP group, in response to Valérie Pécresse. If he fears that line 6 remains “fragile” because of the Olympic Games, he hopes for a future improvement on line 8. Thirty drivers will thus be added to this line, as well as a dog team at the Balard terminus to limit the number of drivers. delays caused by travelers' forgotten luggage. The buses, whose operation is also ensured by the RATP, saw their situation improve in 2023. “The internal causes have been reduced and they are now only suffering from traffic conditions,” notes Valérie Pécresse.

Among the actions carried out in recent months, Jean Castex does not fail to highlight the recruitment of “300 additional drivers, of which 210 have already been recruited, trained and are available on the affected lines”. In detail, 17 additional drivers arrived as reinforcements on line 10 and 50 on line 9, which will be “in high demand during the Olympic Games”. “On buses, as on the metro, losses linked to the lack of drivers have decreased significantly and external losses now represent the main cause of unrealized offers,” indicates a document presented during the hearing.

Also read “Stop pushing!” : immersed in the daily hell of the worst lines of the Paris metro

On the RER side, three lines are in difficulty, compared to two last year, namely the B, the C and the D, in particular because of work. “On the RER D, major difficulties persist because of the reliability of the network,” laments Valérie Pécresse, who calls on the SNCF to make this line “the company’s priority.” The R remains the only “fragile” line while the J, the L and the P join the nine regular lines which “meet their objectives”. For Jean-Pierre Farandou, president of the SNCF group, “we must stop the aging of infrastructure, this is our high point in Île-de-France”. The representative of the railway group also insists on “record” recruitments in 2023 and 2024, with “2,300 additional employees” in Île-de-France, which will “improve the situation”.

Less than 72 days before the Olympic Games, the two operators assure that they are “in the final stretch”. Jean Castex thus plans the opening to the public of the extension of line 11 “at the beginning of June” while that of line 14 is planned for “the end of June”. The offer on line 9 will be reinforced by 50% on average during the games and “the bus network will see adaptations”. Seven temporary maintenance workshops will be installed “as close as possible to the Olympic sites” and the security and cleanliness teams will also be reinforced during this period. “Everyone is fully committed to the Olympics,” said Jean-Pierre Farandou.

“The challenge now is to focus on quality of service,” said the president of the region to Jean Castex and Jean-Pierre Farandou. For Valérie Pécresse, four areas need to be improved, notably “cleanliness on board metros and RERs”, “passenger contact”, “information in disrupted situations” and “operation of escalators and elevators”. The elected official also points out the “resurgence of tags on the metros [...] which are not necessarily the oldest” and calls on the RATP to be vigilant.

During the hearing, Valérie Pécresse made a point of recalling her commitments, in particular the renewal of all metros by 2035. “And by 2030, all metro lines will benefit from an automatic or automatic signaling system. half automatic”, she adds, before concluding that the modernization of trains and signaling systems represents an amount of “ten billion euros”. In the meantime, the clock is ticking for operators, who only have a few weeks left to limit difficulties on key areas during the Games.

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