Keolis to operate and enhance the multimodal transport network in and around Valenciennes

26th July 2022

• On 11 July 2022, the Valenciennois Association of Communes for Urban Organisation and Mobility (SIMOUV) awarded Keolis the operation and maintenance of its entire public transport network, Transvilles, which includes bus and coach networks, trams, city center shuttles services and a fleet of bicycles.

• The contract is valid for seven years and will start on 1 January 2023. It is expected to generate cumulative revenues of more than €400 million.

• In compliance with the SIMOUV's wishes, Keolis' main tasks will be to:
- strengthen the transport offer, in particular by creating two key lines and redesigning the on-demand transport service, which will serve twice as many municipalities;
- modernise the service offer, by launching a new website and mobile app and introducing an "open payment" validation service based on contactless bank cards;
- support the SIMOUV's energy transition strategy, with a focus on BioNGV for the buses and electric for downtown shuttles;
- improve the safety of transport modes, employees, and passengers.

Enhancing the transport offer from 2023, prior to the launch of a new network in 2024

From 1 January 2023, Keolis will operate and maintain the transport network serving the conurbations of Valenciennes Métropole and Porte du Hainaut, meeting the needs of 350,000 people living in 82 municipalities.

Currently consisting of 42 lines, including two tram routes, the network has a fleet of 152 vehicles and 30 trams and provides services to the Valenciennes hospital, the Hainaut stadium, the thermal baths and the casino of Saint-Amand-les-Eaux. It also covers the major zones of economic activity such as the sites of Stellantis in Hordain, of Toyota in Onnaing, of GSK in Saint-Amand-les-Eaux and of Bombardier and Alstom in Crespin and Petite Fôret.

In 2023, the transport offer will be strengthened for suburban municipalities, with the introduction of a dynamic on-demand transport service almost in real time (reservations up to 30 minutes before departure) and Transvilles Pro, an on-demand transport service dedicated to covering the zones of activity.

In 2024, the transport offer will also significantly be expanded with the launch of a new network, that will in particular represent the addition of two key routes. It will ensure buses at 10-minute intervals at peak times all year round and at 15-minute intervals at other times of the day.

Modernising the network to simplify the passenger experience

With the aim of providing a more digitalised transport service, the SIMOUV and Keolis will carry out major developments over the course of the contract to make Transvilles one of the most modern networks in France. To achieve this aim, an open payment system will be rolled out from September to December 2023. This will enable passengers to pay and validate on board, using the validators, with their contactless bank card. The M ticket payment solution, which works on smartphones, will be extended to the entire Transvilles fare range. In addition, a website and mobile app will be launched by summer 2023.

Contributing to the energy transition of the region

Supporting the SIMOUV's intentions to promote more sustainable mobility, Keolis will contribute to the introduction of vehicles that run on alternative energy, with a focus on BioNGV for the buses and electric for the downtown shuttles. The renewal of part of the fleet (about 30 buses and ten shuttles) will begin in 2023 and will be carried out gradually throughout the contract.

Supporting employment and the economy

To address the shortage of drivers and support the local economy, Keolis intends to recruit 44 drivers by 2023for a total of 427 employees including 246 drivers to ensure operation and maintenance of the network.

These recruitments will complement the launch of a "Keolis Mobility Campus" class in autumn 2024. Created in February 2021, this apprenticeship training centre (CFA) is open to candidates aged between 20 and 29 who have held a B driving licence for two years and wish to become a bus and coach driver in one of the transport networks operated by Keolis in France.

Key figures

  • Seven-year contract

  • 42 lines including two tram lines

  • 152 vehicles (buses, coaches, shuttles, etc.) and 30 trams

  • 427 employees including 246 drivers

  • 350,000 people living in 82 municipalities

  • Over 5 million km covered every year including 1.7 million for the tram

  • Over €6 million in commercial revenue forecast by 2029 (+20.3%)

  • Over €400 million in cumulative revenue