France: Keolis wins two major contracts for the suburban transport network in the Alpes-Maritimes

Région Sud has awarded Keolis public service delegation contracts to operate and maintain two sections of its regional public transport network covering the Alpes-Maritimes coastline and the Grasse inland area in southeast France. The two sections feature a fleet of 120 buses and coaches and include 17 lines: three high-frequency lines, two airport services, and 12 regular services.

An enhanced, better connected transport system for passengers

On 23 July 2021, Région Sud, the interurban transport authority, awarded Keolis Alpes-Maritimes the public service delegation contract for two sections of its regional road transport network - known as ZOU ! - for a period of eight years, starting 1 January 2022.
Previously responsible for operating part of these two sections, Keolis will now operate and maintain them in their entirety. The entire fleet for these two sections is composed of 120 vehicles (buses and coaches) and includes some double-deckers.
With 17 lines, the two sections of the network connect the region's major cities (Cannes, Nice, Grasse and Antibes) and serve a population of almost 740,000 inhabitants, along the coast and around the Grasse inland area, as well as several business parks and tourism hubs, such as Nice-Côte d’Azur international airport and Sophia-Antipolis technology park, home to over 2,500 businesses.
With a view to providing mobility solutions that are better suited to the changing lifestyles of the department's residents and visitors, and to reducing the use of private cars, Keolis will make several improvements, such as increasing service frequency, ensuring greater complementarity with TER regional train networks and urban services, creating weekend offers on some lines, and allowing bicycles on board certain coaches.

A full-electric mobility project, a first of its kind in France to involve a suburban network

Renaud Muselier, President of the Regional Council of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur and Vice President of Régions de France, is pushing for considerably more sustainable mobility in the region, in line with his intention to make the environment and the climate emergency one of the priorities of his "Gardons une COP d’avance" (staying a COP ahead) regional climate plan, which aims to reduce transport's greenhouse gas emissions by 25% and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
In a first of its kind in France, Keolis has committed to supporting Région Sud's ambition by rolling out a fleet of full-electric vehicles by July 2023 composed of Yutong and BYD double-decker coaches and Heuliez buses.
The Group will also be responsible for financing the entire investment in rolling stock and charging facilities, converting two depots to electric and applying for ISO 14001 certification  for all Keolis Alpes-Maritimes activities.