Launch of the world’s first 100% hydrogen BRT in Pau in the south of France

Following the recent launches of fully electric bus rapid transit (BRT) services in several cities in France, Keolis has contributed to the launch of Pau’s hydrogen BRT service, a global first for an 18 metre long vehicle. This new service is part of the city public transport network and part of its global overhaul. Inaugurated by François Bayrou, Mayor and President of the Pau Béarn Pyrénées intercommunal area1, it was opened to the public on 17 December 2019. This innovative, sustainable mode of transport serves 14 stations along a six kilometre long dedicated BRT lane with priority at crossroads. This major milestone concludes a key year for electro-mobility for Keolis, confirming its position as a leading operator in terms of alternative energies to diesel.

A long-standing partner of Pau transport operator SPL STAP (Société de Transport de l'Agglomération Paloise), in charge of operating Pau Béarn Pyrénées Mobilités’ city public transport network for 20 years, Keolis has worked on the launch of the 100% hydrogen BRT service called Fébus, that runs in the centre of Pau. This launch represents the culmination of the overhaul of the city transport network IDELIS, aimed at modernising and developing the transport offer to increase the region’s2 appeal. 

World’s first 18 metre 100% hydrogen BRT service 

Keolis is providing technical assistance for the operation of the eight Fébus hydrogen BRTs. These vehicles operate on the route between François Mitterand Hospital, in the north of the intercommunal area, and Pau train station, in the south. They serve the city’s main points of activity: the educational (university), administrative as well as commercial and leasure hubs (supermarket, cinema, restaurants, city centre and its shops). 

Thanks to a route which runs 85% of the time on 6 kilometre long dedicated lanes protected from other traffic, and a priority system at crossroads, the travel time of this key line for getting around Pau is 17 minutes. The BRT vehicles run from Monday to Thursday (6am to 11.30pm), Friday and Saturday (6am to 1am) and Sunday (9am to 11pm)