Keolis chosen again to operate the contract for the Aix-en-Provence transport network

The Aix-Marseille-Provence Metropolis has once again chosen Keolis to operate the Métropole Mobilité Aix-en-Provence – its transport network, for a period of nine years. With projected average annual revenue of €47 million, the new contract will take effect on 4 November 2019. Keolis’ task will be to improve the transport services across the four communes making up the Pays d’Aix area and to transition the network over to a more global, more sustainable and more connected form of mobility. Over the period of the contract, Keolis has committed to increasing passenger numbers by 31% and boosting revenue by 40% across the whole network. Having recently taken over management of Antibes-Sophia Antipolis and Menton, this is the third consecutive contract that the group has landed in the Sud Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region, thus shoring up its position as a leading urban and suburban transport provider.

Following a call for tenders, the Aix-Marseille-Provence Metropolis has once again chosen Keolis to manage its public transport network and park-and-ride services across the Pays d’Aix area so as to support the development of its economy and tourism, and to meet the mobility requirements of its 160,000 inhabitants by boosting the network's appeal.

Expanded public transport coverage and an extended service perimeter

To meet the growing mobility needs of passengers across the metropolis, the Métropole Mobilité Aix-en-Provence network is made up of several services:

  • 26 regular bus routes, including a Bus Rapid Transit service (which starts in September 2019)
  • 7 traditional on-demand transport services
  • 1 on-demand transport service that can be used for passengers with reduced mobility
  • 1 real-time on-demand transport service for the Aix-en-Provence business hub (where more than 27,000 people work) with waiting times of under 20 minutes
  • 4 electric shuttles operating in the Aix-en-Provence city centre
  • A new school bus route service starting in September 2020.

Under the new contract, Keolis will also manage seven park-and-ride services (Keolis currently manages three). These will encourage people to make even more use of public transport with a view to bringing about global and multimodal mobility.

By deploying this new service, Keolis is forecasting a 31% increase in the number of people using the network between now and the end of the contract. The Group is aiming to reduce the modal share of the car across urban areas by 50 to 58% by 2025, in keeping with its Mobility Agenda.

A network committed to the energy transition

This new transport service is a major commitment for the Aix Marseille Provence Metropolis and Keolis, and is in line with a more sustainable approach to mobility. By 2024, the new fleet made up of 204 thermal-combustion buses will be entirely replaced by electric and hybrid ones. 52% of this fleet will run exclusively on electricity.

A more connected passenger experience

Starting in January 2020, Keolis will deploy an open payment system on the Bus Rapid Transit service, before extending it to the rest of the network in September 2020. Not yet in use in the region, open payment will mean that passengers can purchase and validate their tickets with their contactless credit/debit cards or smartphones directly on the bus, irrespective of who they bank with.

The Aix-Marseille-Provence Metropolis will be France's third urban area to introduce this new ticketing solution, which has proven popular with users since it was launched in Dijon in 2018.

Keolis bolsters its presence in the Sud Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region

Having recently taken over management of the Antibes-Sophia Antipolis and Menton networks, the renewal of the Aix-en-Provence network contract, which Keolis has operated since 2012, reinforces Keolis presence in the region. With 1,280 employees, Keolis now has nearly 15 subsidiaries in the region operating urban transport services (Aix, Antibes-Sophia Antipolis and Menton) and suburban transport services (including Nice, Marseilles, Hyères and Martigues).

The Métropole Mobilité – Aix-en-Provence network : key figures

  • 6.7 million km covered per year
  • 15.7 million annual journeys predicted on average
  • 204 buses, including BRT
  • 52% of the fleet to be electric by 2024
  • 26 regular routes, 7 ODT routes and 1 ODT route for people with reduced mobility
  • 7 park-and-ride facilities (including 4 new ones)
  • 390 employees