Luc Bouard, Mayor of La Roche-sur-Yon and President of La Roche-sur-Yon urban area, talks about mobility as he envisages it with RATP Dev.
With 95,000 inhabitants, a growing population, especially in the suburbs, and an acute awareness of its economic, social and environmental challenges, the urban area of La Roche-sur-Yon is focusing on its sustainable mobility strategies. By renewing its confidence in RATP Dev for the management and operation of the urban transport network on 1 January 2017, it signed a contract not only for the optimisation of the service on different levels (mobility solutions, regional services, etc.), but also for the transition towards better environmental standards. This past year has seen the introduction of a Gruau all-electric minibus for transporting people with disabilities (electric paratransit service) and the introduction of a city centre shuttle (Bluebus), as well as the installation of a dedicated fast charging station for the fleet. The first natural gas bus will be added to the fleet by the end of the year and will be followed by a second in 2019. While awaiting the creation of a new maintenance workshop to allow for further expansion of the fleet of gas-powered buses, Luc Bouard, Mayor of La Roche-sur-Yon and President of La Roche-sur-Yon urban area, talks about mobility as he envisages it with RATP Dev.
What are the main mobility challenges for the La Roche-sur-Yon urban area?
Our town has strong ambitions in terms of mobility in order to offer a positive living environment for the entire population while encouraging economic development. We want to offer efficient transport services for everyone, to accompany growth in our region while respecting the environment.
To achieve these ambitions, our urban area has adopted a comprehensive travel plan. The main aims are to reduce the use of private cars and their modal share by around 10% over time, while increasing the share of walking, cycling and public transport. This plan outlines our roadmap until 2025 to make our urban area even more environmentally efficient and to provide transport that suits everyone.
How would you describe the collaboration with RATP Dev?
One of the factors that will enable us to achieve our objectives in terms of sustainable mobility is changing behaviour and attitudes. RATP Dev operates on the ground all year round, and we consider them a valuable partner to help us achieve this and offer adapted mobility solutions for the entire population. In real terms, RATP Dev's people, via CTY, work on a daily basis with the teams in the La Roche-sur-Yon area. Things are done in a simple, healthy and agile way. We listen to each other, which allows us to take the action required to fulfil our ambitions.
The latest innovation resulting from this successful collaboration is the Mobilisy app. In a single app, it offers access to all transport in the urban area (public transport, train, bicycle, walking and carpooling). The result of this collaboration between La Roche-sur-Yon and RATP Dev, via CTY, won the prize for the best promotional campaign for intermodality at the 2018 Public Transport Day awards!
How does RATP Dev, via CTY, help La Roche-sur-Yon meet its social and environmental challenges?
Offering access to mobility for everyone and developing environmentally friendly mobility to support the growth of the territory requires various measures. For example, we need to increase the number of “soft” routes to serve certain businesses; we need to introduce more environmentally friendly vehicles; we must encourage active modes of commuting (on foot or by bicycle) as well as shared solutions by encouraging carpooling. We are able to exploit RATP Dev’s experience and expertise to meet these objectives.
The development of the Mobilisy app, the creation of the Maison du Vélo with the acquisition of 110 e-bikes available for hire by anyone, and the decision to run electric shuttles and a natural gas bus on the Impulsyon network, are all evidence of La Roche-sur-Yon’s commitment to sustainable mobility and of the proactive support provided by RATP Dev, via CTY.
At the same time, the marketing plan and the new services available and implemented every year by our service provider are generating results. RATP Dev has developed a strategy to make mobility services more attractive. We have seen a steady increase in the number of pass-holders (nearly 1,500 additional pass-holders in five years, a third more than in 2013) and a significant increase in overall numbers over the same period (up 27% in five years). For the first time, ridership on the Impulsyon network exceeded three million trips per year in 2017.
In addition to promoting mobility, RATP Dev’s actions to promote the image and reputation of our mobility services are helping to embed them in the region and ensure they receive positive recognition outside the users of public transport services.
What do you think are RATP Dev's strong points?
RATP Dev offers us the experience and expertise of an international group that listens to the needs of our area. It takes a pragmatic approach that allows us to implement actions jointly with real results that are in line with our local objectives, constraints and resources. This strong service offer, including the implementation of ambitious and realistic actions that benefit our region thanks to the group's know-how, is particularly important for us.