Keolis: new contract secured in Auxerre and contract renewal in Bourg-en-Bresse

7th November 2023

Two urban district councils resolutely committed to public transport and the energy transition have placed their trust in Keolis:

o Communauté de l'Auxerrois has allocated the eight-year contract to operate its public transport network to Keolis, beginning on 1 January 2024. This contract represents annual revenue of around €9 million.
o Grand Bourg Agglomération (GBA) has renewed its contract with Keolis to operate the Rubis transport service. The public service contract will cover a six-year period from 6 January 2024, with annual revenue of €17.5 million.

Auxerre: ecological transition and new services

Communauté de l'Auxerrois intends this new contract to improve the attractiveness of bus travel throughout its area, take the energy transition further with a fleet of greener vehicles and provide a depot dedicated to the Communauté de l'Auxerrois network.

Starting in January 2024, the bus network will evolve with a new on-demand transport (ODT) service for outlying areas, offering greater variety of service and increased coverage. A total overhaul of the network's services will begin on 1 September 2024. This will include a significant increase in service frequency on urban lines, the creation of new links and coverage and the restructuring of school provision to reduce pupils' journey times. A new ODT service is scheduled for 2025 to cover mornings and evenings in the centre of the district.

A transition towards lower-carbon vehicles is also planned. By the end of the contract, the target is to have 15 standard hydrogen-powered vehicles, eight standard vehicles using HVO biofuel (hydrotreated vegetable oil) and six electric minibuses. To house this vehicle fleet under the best operating, maintenance and security conditions, a new depot will be built by 2026.

In addition, new solutions will be deployed to make life easier for passengers: a new smartphone app from 2024 and card payments in 2025 to simplify ticket purchases.

The network currently serves 29 municipalities around Auxerre with a total population of 67,000.

Key figures for the network

1.5 million urban km/year

450,000 inter-urban km/year

2.2 million passengers/year

24 buses, 5 for On-Demand Transport (ODT) and 29 coaches

72 employees, including 60 drivers

Bourg-en-Bresse: electrification and extension of provision for sustainable transport

Under the new contract, GBA is placing the energy transition at the very centre of its approach and entrusting Keolis with the role of supporting this ambition. By the end of the contract, 60% of the urban bus fleet will be powered by electricity. The electrification work at the depot, supervised by Keolis, is central to this ambitious initiative. At the same time, the 80 drivers will receive eco-driving training, preparing them for the adoption of the new vehicles.

Keolis has also been tasked with reinforcing the transport offer to encourage a shift from private cars to public transport, a key lever of the ecological transition. This strategic direction will take the form of increased transport provision, with more frequent urban lines, new links in outlying areas and a new ODT service for mornings and evenings. GBA is also committed to active travel with the creation of five new car-sharing lines in addition to the two already in existence and the development of self-service bikes, doubling the numbers of stations and bikes. Alongside this, a dynamic on-demand transport service and card payments in buses will be deployed.

By 2029, Keolis is committed to increasing passenger numbers by 26% to reach 4.5 million journeys per year. The Rubis network serves the whole GBA area, spread across 74 municipalities with a population of 134,000, including 60,000 in the four municipalities in the urban centre.

Key figures for the Rubis network

1.6 million urban km/year

420,000 inter-urban km/year

4.5 million journeys/year (2029 forecast)

36 buses, 1 city centre shuttle, 10 coaches for outlying areas, 80 school coaches, 16 light ODT vehicles (including for people with disabilities)

108 employees, including 84 drivers