The change is now ? The new CEO of RATP Jean Castex promises to “do better”, and in particular to restore quality service in a peaceful social climate, in an interview with Parisian to be released on Wednesday.
Taking office on Monday, Castex recalls its priorities, already presented during the hearings prior to its appointment to Parliament: “Punctuality, safety, cleanliness, quality of information… These are for me the primary missions of the public service of transportation. »
“A very heavy challenge”
“I take up my duties in a social context tense by the question of purchasing power, the concern generated by the opening up of buses to competition, problems of punctuality, etc. “, he admits. While the Régie is struggling to circulate its metros and buses correctly, affected in particular by a shortage of drivers and worrying absenteeism, restoring the situation is for Castex “a very heavy challenge”.
“We need to establish a diagnosis in order to act on all the levers at our disposal, which are recruitment, the attractiveness of the company, but also well-being at work, as an element of loyalty and the fight against absenteeism,” he says. In the immediate future, he must meet the unions “this week”, and repeats that he wants to advance the annual negotiations on wages from December.
“I heard the message of the travellers”
On the pension reform that would directly affect RATP agents, the ball is in the government’s court. “But the company wants to be able to give its opinion and support the measures that will be taken. And I don’t know of a better way to do that than negotiation,” he notes.
In addition to an effort on line B of the RER, the most irregular of the Ile-de-France network, his priorities, he says, “are those of the users, that is to say all the bus and metro lines which are impacted by the problem of understaffing and who should see their quality of service improve in the coming months”. “I heard the message from travelers and we are going to do better”, promises Castex.
Help offered to Valérie Pécresse
The former Prime Minister also says he wants to appease relations between the RATP and Ile-de-France Mobilités (IDFM), the organizing authority for public transport in the Paris region, and its president Valérie Pécresse. “I suggested that we list all the stinging subjects to find the solutions,” he says.
He also offers, “with the reservations that (his) position requires”, his services to help Pécresse, in trouble with the government, to find ways to get out of the budgetary difficulties caused in particular by the soaring cost of energy, which could lead it to increase tariffs by 20% in 2023.