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New Transdev routes in France

Overseas Transport Discussion

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New Transdev routes in France

Postby Fleet Lists » Sat Jun 06, 2015 5:09 pm

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/ ... LX20150605

Transdev to launch French bus network as deregulation nears
PARIS, June 5

French public passenger transport group Transdev, a joint venture between water utility Veolia and state bank CDC, will launch a new long-distance bus service in France in July, executives told French media.

Called Isilines, the new venture will operate 17 new bus lines from Paris to major regional cities as well as routes between secondary cities, including Lyon-Marseille and Strasbourg-Lille.

The initiative anticipates the upcoming deregulation of bus travel in France, which is currently a near-total state monopoly. The deregulation law is due to be voted on in July and is widely expected to be passed.

It would scrap current restrictions under which operators can only offer French routes if they are part of international bus routes, and which limit the number of passengers who travel only within France.

The French government expects that within a year of deregulation, 5 million travellers will use buses annually for intercity journeys, up from 110,000 in 2013.

Transdev France director Laurence Broseta told financial daily Les Echos that bus fares for Paris-Marseille would be 15-25 euros. This would bring strong competition for France's TGV trains, where a similar trip can cost 100 euros or more.

Transdev expects the new service to bring in revenue of 100 million euros ($112.4 million) per year by 2017, Transdev Chief Executive Jean-Marc Janaillac told Les Echos.

Several other bus companies plan to set up new lines in France, including French railways SNCF unit iDBUS, British Stagecoach unit Megabus, Germany's Flixbus and Starshipper, an alliance of small French transport firms.

Transdev, which had 2014 turnover of 6.6 billion euros, owns and operates the French, Belgian, Dutch and Czech operations of Eurolines, an international network of coach companies that includes Britain's National Express and Deutsche Touring.

Bus travel represents just 0.0005 percent of French long-distance trips. In Britain, where the market was opened up in 1985, intercity buses account for about 30 million passengers a year and 4 percent of all long-distance travel, according to French government data.
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