Rennes renews its confidence in Keolis until 2024

Following Quimper in March 2017 and Caen la Mer in September 2017, Rennes Metropole is the next French city to renew its confidence in Keolis as the operator of its public transport network. As part of this contract’s focus on innovation and energy transition, Keolis will expand its transport offer to provide a strong alternative to private cars in favour of shared, sustainable transport.

Keolis renewed as the operator of the STAR network for the next seven years 

Following a competitive tender process, Rennes Metropole announced on 19 October 2017 that it had renewed its contract with Keolis, making it the public transport operator of the region’s 43 communes for the next seven years.   The new public service delegation contract will start on 1 January 2018 and generate cumulative revenue of 960 million euros.  By enhancing existing services and adding new, innovative ones to facilitate everyday mobility, Keolis Rennes and Rennes Metropole, partners since 1998, aim to increase passenger numbers by 36 percent by 2024.  

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millions de voyages
annuels en 2024

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413 000

An enhanced and more attractive everyday mobility offer

The new public service delegation contract demonstrates Rennes Metropole’s desire to transition from a standard public transport offer to a more comprehensive mobility services offer. This reflects the public transport authority’s (PTA) ambition to provide a strong alternative to private cars and change the way everyday mobility is experienced.  The new contract is therefore focused mainly on making new mobility services available to passengers. In addition to the existing metro line, bus and HANDISTAR reduced mobility services already operated by Keolis, the new contract will also include the management of a second metro line, multiple bike-share and rental schemes, and real-time car sharing. There will be an increase in Keolis Rennes employees from 1,000 to 1,150.

A second driverless, automated metro line by 2020

The current metro line, measuring 8.5km and serving 15 stations, manages an average of 310,000 passenger journeys every day and has strongly contributed to an increase in overall network patronage since its launch in 2002.  In order to respond to the growing population of the region, Rennes Metropole wants to add a second metro line measuring 14km, which is expected to be launched in 2020.  With a speed of 37km/h and able to carry 179 passengers per carriage, the line is expected to carry an average of 113,000 passengers per day.  Together, the two lines operated by Keolis will manage 60% of overall passenger traffic on the STAR network.  

A redesigned and optimised bus network, aiming to become fully electric   

A leader in managing integrated networks, Keolis will adapt the routes and service frequency of suburban bus lines to the new metro line. This will considerably strengthen services to outer-suburban areas.  One million additional kilometres will be added to metropolitan bus lines and evening operating times will be extended. 
Keolis will also support Rennes Metropole in its ongoing energy transition objectives, based on its decision to stop purchasing diesel buses in 2015. The new contract will also see the trial of eight fully electric buses (including one articulated bus) and aims to gradually transition to completely electric bus operations by 2020. 

Bicycles, the new star of the Rennes transport network

Rennes Metropole is making bicycles a major part of its sustainable mobility strategy.  The PTA has therefore entrusted Keolis, France’s second largest bike-share operator, with the operation and development of its bike-share scheme, which was previously managed by a separate contract. Keolis will considerably expand the current offer with 700 additional bike-share bikes and 1,800 electric bikes available for yearly rental. These changes will make Rennes Metropole the leading bike rental city in France.  Keolis will also operate the “Maison du vélo”, a customer centre for all bike-related services (e.g. bike rentals, maintenance for personal bikes, etc.) as well as a mobile version of the Maison du vélo, installed inside a converted bus, so that it can move around to local communities.  

Innovative digital solutions to facilitate everyday mobility 

Keolis and Rennes Metropole continue to focus on innovation to better satisfy passengers. STARMobilités, a new mobile app, is planned for release in March 2018. 

The new app brings together all transport information (journey planner in real-time showing all alternative mobility solutions to private driving, passenger information, ticket purchases and pass recharging) with other city-related information such as movie times, weather forecasts, and traffic updates. A car sharing service will also be integrated into the STARMobilités app, allowing drivers and potential passengers to connect based on real-time information.  

And from 2019, a new ticketing system will be introduced.  Building on the technology from the Korrigo multi-service transport card in Brittany, France, the new system in Rennes will reduce fare evasion via the installation of ticket gates for the metro, and the transition from paper to contactless ticketing and new NFC or open payment technology.