Paris 2024 Olympics: Macron inaugurates the first supermetro in the Paris region, a pharaonic project worth 3.5 billion euros

Paris 2024 Olympics: Macron inaugurates the first supermetro in the Paris region, a pharaonic project worth 3.5 billion euros

Le “supermétro”, un chantier pharaonique pour desservir le Stade de France. MAXPPP – Vincent Isore

La ligne 14 transportera d’ici mi-2025 un million de voyageurs par jour.

After months of racing against time, the extension of line 14 will welcome its first passengers on Monday, to connect Saint-Denis, north of Paris, to Orly airport, a month before the start of the year. rsquo;opening of the Olympic Games.

Very involved in the preparations for this global meeting, Emmanuel Macron plans to attend the inauguration, six days before the first round of very indecisive legislative elections caused by by his surprise dissolution of the Assembly.

Like Jacques Chirac in his time during the opening of the first section of the 14, a few months after the 1998 Football World Cup. This time, the work is on time to welcome the millions of spectators of the Olympic Games organized in the capital from July 26 to August 11.

28km long, 8 new stations

"It’is a major success" for RATP, main contractor of the project , greeted the spokesperson for the public group Jimmy Brun. "It was ultra-complex, with an extension, a modernization of the operating automation system and the renewal of the rolling stock", he explains.

With 28 km long, eight new stations and 11 towns crossed, line 14 will transport one million passengers per day by mid-2025, thus becoming the first &quot ;supermetro" from the Paris region.

During a visit at the beginning of June, project director Stéphane Garreau mentioned a "link between the historic network and the future network of the Grand Paris Express" thanks to its connections with lines 15, 16, 17 and 18 in the phase of construction.

It will serve the athletes' village, the Stade de France and the aquatic center to the north

It’is also and above all a crucial line for the smooth running of the Games since it will serve the athletes' village, the Stade de France and the aquatic center to the north, unloading the B lines and D of the RER and line 13 of the metro.

To the south, it will reach Orly airport in 25 minutes from Châtelet, in the center of Paris. To deliver on time, RATP had to work extra hard. The construction site was almost never interrupted during the Covid-19 pandemic and was able to be completed at the cost of numerous line closures on weekends, during school holidays or in the evening.

It closed two weeks during the winter holidays to permanently migrate to the new automatic pilot system, then one week in April and five days in May to connect the extensions to the historic line and start the dry run.

These "traffic interruptions" have often been misunderstood by users, according to Jimmy Brun, increasing the pressure on the teams. Edgar Sée, former director of the project and now "Mr. JO" of the RATP, puts it into perspective: "Modernizing and extending a line in operation, with so little impact on the service provided, is unique in the world& ;quot;.

Cost of extending the line: 3.5 billion euros

To meet the expected explosion in passenger numbers, Ile-de-France Mobilités (IDFM) has spent 1.1 billion euros to purchase 72 new trains currently being deployed, around fifty of which will be in service by the time of the Olympic Games.

10% of employees and passengers will immediately abandon their cars in favor of metro

The extension will have cost 3.5 billion euros, entirely financed by the Société des grands projets (SGP). The extension will benefit 260,000 residents south of Paris, in Val-de-Marne and Essonne, according to IDFM. On the Orly side,"10 % of employees and travelers will immediately abandon their car in favor of the metro" whereas until’here &quot ;90% of the platform's 28,000 employees and 70% of passengers come by individual vehicle, estimates its manager, Groupe ADP, which is ;rsquo;expects to see nearly 100,000 passengers per day passing through the new station ".

Eight years of work

The 14 "will simplify the journeys of millions of travelers and will add a mobility option for our employees at Orly", rejoiced Bertrand Godinot, general manager for France of easyJet, who is launching a summer advertising campaign on the theme… from the metro.

The line will allow you to reach other emblematic places in the south of Ile-de-France such as the Rungis market, the future Cité de la gastronomy which is due to open in 2028 or even the scientific valley of Bièvre.

After eight years of work, this is one of the RATP's major projects which is coming to an end, before the inauguration of the southern section of the expected future line 15 end of 2025. RATP is also turning its attention to another important program: the automation of line 13, the eternally ill and overloaded network, supposed to be completed in 2035.

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