All-electric public transport system coming to Orleans, France, by 2024
Image credit: Keolis
The French city of Orleans is scheduled to have an all-electric public transport network within six years, the first in the country, embracing buses, trams and e-bikes.
Transport operator Keolis will work with Orléans Metropole, the local transport authority, to deliver the city’s “ambitious” objectives, which include the renewal of the entire bus fleet with electric vehicles by 2024. The network, called Tao, will then have the lowest level of carbon emissions in France.
Keolis has just been reappointed to operate and maintain the multi-modal Tao network for the next six years, with responsibility for tram and bus networks, services for people with reduced mobility, the bike-share scheme and longer-term bike rentals.
Six vehicles currently used for passengers with reduced mobility will be replaced with 13 electric models by the end of 2019 and the network’s entire fleet of buses will be replaced with electric vehicles by 2024. The city’s two tram lines are already electrically powered.
In addition, 1,120 electric cycles will be made available for long-term rental.
The Orléans Metropole region has 282,000 residents. Converting the transport network to electric operation will improve air quality and significantly reduce noise pollution.
As part of the new contract, Keolis will also introduce a range of ‘agile’ mobility solutions, including an on-demand transport service that passengers can reserve up to just five minutes before departure, either by phone, internet or mobile app. This service will cover the outer suburban areas of Orléans, including a number of schools and special employment zones and will run every day.
Finally, the company has committed to increasing revenue by 20 per cent between 2018 and 2024, mainly through initiatives to reduce fare evasion and simplifying ticket purchasing.
Trams and buses will be equipped with next-generation ticket validators to enable passengers to use their bank card as a ticket. This Open Payment solution will mean that passengers (tourists, occasional travellers and regular passengers who forget their transport pass) can pay for and validate their trip with a simple touch of their contactless bank card.
To date, the city of Dijon is the only one in France to offer a contactless payment facility for public transport. That scheme, also operated by Keolis, began in March this year and has exceeded all of its initial targets for users.
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