Emmanuel Macron’s announcement to see the development of “metropolitan RERs” in the ten major French cities has sparked many reactions Monday in Nantes. However, if a similar project of a fast-paced inter-urban train has been demanded for several years by associations of transport users, neither Nantes Métropole, managed by the PS and EELV, nor the regional council, chaired by Les Républicains, n had really made progress on the subject. Will the concrete discussions between the two competent communities start?
“Emmanuel Macron’s announcement is a step in the right direction. It joins my desire to create a TER Express network on the scale of the Nantes railway star”, reacted Monday evening Johanna Rolland (PS), mayor of Nantes. The president of the metropolis specifies that she wrote to Elisabeth Borne, Prime Minister, to wish for a “rapid realization”, in collaboration with the State and the region.
“What state funding? »
Contacted by telephone a little earlier, its vice-president in charge of travel seemed less in a hurry. “We need to talk quietly with the region,” says Bertrand Affilé (PS). Convinced by the relevance of the RER project, the Herblinois elected official is less convinced by its financial feasibility. “Obviously an RER would be a good idea for the inhabitants, he considers. But what does the state offer as funding? We will need to be accompanied. Bertrand Affilé, who recalls that Nantes Métropole will invest one billion euros in favor of public transport over the 2020-2026 mandate, argues that an RER project would require “new infrastructures”, “railways”, in particularly “to the west and south” of the agglomeration, without forgetting additional trains.
For its part, the Pays-de-la-Loire regional council, the authority TER organizer, affirms, too, to welcome “very favorably” the announcement of Emmanuel Macron. But he wonders about “the necessary investment costs but also the operating costs”. “This necessarily implies asking the question of rail financing and rethinking the model”, insists Roch Brancour (LR), vice-president of the region in charge of mobility.
Roch Brancour adds cautiously: “The metropolitan RERs are not the alpha and omega of mobility in Pays-de-la-Loire. This is a mobility solution that is fully complementary to existing and future offers”.
Outside Nantes, metropolitan RER projects are already advanced, particularly in Bordeaux and Strasbourg.