Keolis to operate France’s first 100% electric public transport network in Orléans

On 15 November 2018, Orléans Metropole, the local transport authority, renewed its trust in Keolis for the operation and maintenance of its public transport network, known as Tao. The new contract will start on 1 January 2019 for a six-year period and is expected to generate a cumulative revenue of 395 million euros. In order to deliver a 100% electric transport network, Keolis will provide support to Orléans Métropole to achieve its ambitious objectives, this includes the renewal of the entire bus fleet with electric vehicles by 2024. Tao will then become the French transport network with the lowest level of carbon emissions. A range of innovative mobility services will also be introduced, including contactless payment on-board buses and trams, which will enhance the passenger experience.

Orléans Metropole (282,000 residents) has renewed its confidence in Keolis Group to deliver the operation and maintenance of its multimodal transport network called Tao, which serves 22 communes in the region. Keolis is the incumbent partner of Orléans’ transport authority and has been managing their network since 2012. 

As part of the new six-year public service delegation contract, Keolis will manage the operations and maintenance of the tram and bus networks,1 services for people with reduced mobility, the bike-share scheme and longer-term bike rentals.  

The Group will also introduce a range of ‘agile’ mobility solutions, including a dynamic, on-demand transport service, which passengers can reserve up to just five minutes before departure either by phone, internet or mobile app. The service will cover 20 communes in the outer suburban areas of Orléans, including a number of schools and special employment zones and will run every day from 6am to 9pm. 

Keolis is committed to partnering with Orléans Métropole to successfully achieve its three key objectives: 

A 100% electric network by 2024 

Keolis is working closely with the city of Orléans on the deployment of durable and reliable electric mobility solutions. As part of this transformation, the network’s entire fleet of buses will be replaced with electric vehicles by 2024. 
Those vehicles currently used for passengers with reduced mobility will be replaced with electric models by the end of 2019, and the fleet will double in size. 
To complete the picture 1,120 electric cycles will also be available for long-term rental. These new electric modes will be a welcome addition to the already electric-powered trams. 
By 2024, the city of Orléans will therefore boast a 100% electric transport network, helping to improve air quality and significantly reducing noise pollution.   

A number of innovative services adapted to each passenger 

Keolis will launch a number of innovative services during the contract to adapt to the changing lifestyle needs of passengers, through: 

  • A significantly improved performing network by 2021, with more frequent tram services at night and on Sundays, three high-frequency bus lines, as well as night bus services, following the request of local students. The night bus service will run on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from the city centre to student residences.
  • New mobility solutions to serve outer-suburban and less populated areas will be initiated, including a real-time on-demand shared mobility service, supported by high-performing digital tools and bus lines dedicated to school students.
  • An innovative and collaborative solution allowing families to safely pool rides for their children to and from school and for extra-curricular activities, due to a mobile app provided by Keolis.
  • 400 bike-share cycles across 35 stations, and 1,120 electric cycles for longer-term rental.
  • New vehicles for people with reduced mobility: the fleet of 6 diesel vehicles will be replaced with 13 electric vehicles by 2019.

A commitment to run the network more efficiently while enhancing the passenger experience  

Keolis has committed to increasing revenue by 20% 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. 

Contactless payment for public transport has already been deployed by Keolis – a national first in France - in the city of Dijon, in March of this year. The open payment service is the only one in France to date, it has proved very popular with passengers and has exceeded all of its initial targets for users.  

Keolis is proud to support Orléans Métropole in its mobility policy, which is highly ambitious in terms of innovation and has a strong focus on economic efficiency. From 2019 onwards, these new services will mean we can better meet the mobility and sustainability objectives of Greater Orléans. We particularly welcome the fact that by 2024 we will have helped the Tao network to achieve the lowest level of carbon emissions in France.


Frédéric Baverez, CEO for Keolis France