Strong, rapid growth
Keolis is the historical operator of Fil Bleu, the public transport network of the Tours Métropole Val de Loire agglomeration. The subsidiary inaugurated the city’s first tram line in August 2013. The line crosses the agglomeration from North to South, and its long operating hours, route, and frequency (a train every 6 minutes during rush hour) are tailored to local inhabitants’ expectations. Keolis’ experience in operating 11 other tram networks across France was fundamental to the immediate success of the line, and with 62,000 passengers per day, the tram has made a significant contribution to the strong patronage growth of the Fil Bleu network (+43% between 2010 and 2014).
Focus on service quality
This impressive performance is also the result of the transformation of Tours’ transport system. Keolis teams took advantage of the tramway launch to redesign the existing network, creating a new, structuring BRT line (Bus Rapid Transit), renewing the agglomeration’s bus fleet, improving punctuality, and introducing new signage. The combination of these two transport modes has rendered the network simpler and more accessible to use, and passenger numbers have increased. The inhabitants of the 25 towns that make up the agglomeration now benefit from a complete range of mobility solutions, including long-term bike rental and Park and Ride sites.
A top-class network
Tours Métropole Val de Loire beat the cities of Nantes and Dijon to win the title of “Best French Network” at the Ville, Rail & Transportation magazine’s 24th Mobility Awards.
Innovation across the board
Fil Bleu operates an on-going innovation policy in close collaboration with local authorities, which includes initiatives such as tram braking energy recovery, electric minibuses, or photovoltaic panels on the 1500 m2 roof of the tram operation centre. This innovative approach is also reflected in management techniques and work organisation methods. Keolis Tours encourages versatility among staff to ensure optimal reactivity: some employees drive both buses and trams, a mechanic can also do ticket control, and everyone informs and assists customers across the network. 30% of the workforce is versatile!
The Fil Bleu network and Keolis Tours in figures
- 9 million bus km and 1.3 million tram km per year
- 1,000 long-term bike rentals, 7 bike parks
- 7 Park and Ride sites
- 696 employees, including 495 drivers
- 4.7% fare evasion rate, one of the lowest rates in France