Keolis wins the public transport network of the Sophia Antipolis agglomeration community, in the south of France

From 1 July 2019, Keolis will run Envibus, the transport network of the Sophia Antipolis agglomeration community* (24 cities in the south of France), for a period of 4 years (renewable 3 times, for a period of one year each time). Network use is expected to increase by 17% between now and 2023. An offer that stands in firm support of the energy transition, with the construction of a sustainable depot and the entry into service of a BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) powered by natural gas.

Following a call to tender, the the Sophia Antipolis agglomeration community (170,000 residents) chose Keolis to operate and maintain and maintain its public transport service from 1 July 2019 and to build a new bus depot.

The contract represents a key issue for the agglomeration, which wants to strengthen the appeal of its public transport network to support the strong growth of tourism and economic development in its region.

A new, redesigned and improved transport offer

To meet passengers’ increased travel needs within the agglomeration, the future Envibus network will have 29 lines, with a new classification to give users a clearer understanding of the transport offer:

  • 4 structural lines
  • 8 additional lines, linking remote urban centres to the main hubs of the agglomeration, developed in connection with the structural lines
  • 9 connecting lines
  • 3 village shuttles
  • Extra services during summers and evenings.

A new network dedicated to preserving the region

The new Envibus network, an initiative shared by the agglomeration community and Keolis, will be part of a proactive approach to environmental issues.

Accordingly, line A - linking the city centre of Antibes to the Sophia Antipolis Technopole over a distance of approximately ten kilometres - will be 40% comprised of dedicated bus lines, with a BRT service powered by natural gas. This form of propulsion represents an alternative to traditional fuel, generating fewer CO2 emissions. These next-generation articulated buses, built by the manufacturer Iveco Bus, will offer greater comfort to passengers and can carry up to 120 people.

Keolis will help the personnel adapt to the new working methods and specifics that the arrival of the BRT vehicles entails. Nearly 1,000 hours of training will be provided to the drivers, regulators and maintenance staff.

The introduction of the BRT vehicles will require the construction of a new depot and maintenance centre capable of accommodating all vehicles of the network on a single site. Expected in spring 2022, the depot will be outstandingly eco-friendly, complying with the Sustainable Mediterranean Buildings label (photovoltaic panels, low-carbon concrete floor, recycled wooden structure, integration into the landscape, etc.). In parallel, a system for recycling 95% of the washing water will be installed. The agglomeration community will thus have a modern, effective and perfectly environmentally friendly tool at its disposal, one capable of supporting the long-term development of shared mobility in its region.

The Envibus network: key figures

  • Approximately 4 million km covered per year
  • 112 vehicles in total

* Antibes Juan les Pins, Le Bar-sur-Loup, Bézaudun les Alpes, Biot, Bouyon, Caussols, Chateauneuf, Cipières, La Colle sur Loup, Conségudes, Courmes, Coursegoules, Les Ferres, Gourdon, Gréolières, Opio, Roquefort les Pins, La Roque en Provence, le Rouret, Saint Paul de Vence, Tourrettes sur Loup, Valbonne, Sophia Antipolis, Vallauris Golfe Juan et Villeneuve-Loubet