Keolis awarded contract to operate automated Paris metro lines

Posted: 1 June 2023 | | No comments yet

With both lines set to open in October 2026, the seven-year contract will see Keolis operating Île-de-France metro lines 16 and 17, while also assuming responsibility for managing Saint-Denis Pleyel station from June 2024.

Île-de-France Mobilités advances air quality improvements in stations

Credit: Alstom

Keolis has announced that Île-de-France Mobilités has awarded it with the contract to operate metro lines 16 and 17, marking the first competitive tendering for metro lines in the region. Keolis, known for its automatic metro systems, will work to ensure high-quality service for Île-de-France residents.

As part of the contract, Keolis aims to bring the Île-de-France metro system up to international standards, comparable to the company’s automated systems in Doha, Dubai and Shanghai. Keolis will collaborate with partners like Klépierre and innovative start-ups in order to achieve this.

Marie-Ange Debon, Chairwoman of the Keolis Group: “We are honoured and proud of the trust that Île-de-France Mobilités has shown in us by choosing us to operate lines 16 and 17 of the Île-de France metro network. This high-profile contract represents a significant step forward in our journey in Île-de-France and reflects our acknowledged expertise in operating automated metro systems. The Keolis teams are keen to rise to the challenge alongside Île-de-France Mobilités and offer passengers a new experience: the metro system of the 21st century, more efficient, better connected and more human.”

Understanding the autonomous mobility ecosystem

The contract covers the operation of lines 16 and 17, starting in October 2026. Keolis will handle transport, passenger assistance, information and maintenance. It will also manage Saint-Denis Pleyel station from June 2024, serving passengers during the 2024 Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The introduction of lines 16 and 17 will have a significant impact on Île-de-France residents. Line 16 will serve 10 stations between Saint-Denis Pleyel and Noisy-Champs, improving transportation access to currently underserved towns. It will also connect key hubs in the capital region, including the Descartes University campus and Saint-Denis. Line 16 shares a 6.4km section with line 17, linking Saint-Denis Pleyel, La Courneuve Six-Routes and Le Bourget RER stations, along with the operations centre in Aulnay-sous-Bois and Gonesse. Once completed, line 16 is expected to carry 200,000 passengers daily.

In addition, Line 17, with nine stations between Saint-Denis Pleyel and Mesnil-Amelot, will significantly improve the daily lives of nearly 565,000 residents. It is expected to serve up to 60,000 passengers daily. Line 17 will contribute to the development of major economic centres in Île-de-France, such as the Saint-Denis Pleyel area, the Paris Nord Villepinte exhibition centre and Paris-Le Bourget. Furthermore, it will also reduce travel time to Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport, making the journey less than 20 minutes compared to the current 45 minutes. Line 17 will also have convenient connections to other metro lines (14, 15 and 16), the RER B and D radial railway lines, and the T1 and T11 Express tram lines.