“Responding to the saturation of road and rail routes”: Montpellier on track to obtain its metropolitan RER

“Responding to the saturation of road and rail routes”: Montpellier on track to obtain its metropolitan RER

Les TER sur l’axe littoral comme ici à Sète sont souvent saturés. MIDI LIBRE – K. M.

La Région Occitanie, le Département de l’Hérault et les intercommunalités de Montpellier, Sète, Béziers et du Pays de l’Or ont candidaté au projet de Service Express Régional Métropolitain qui sera développé dans une dizaine d’agglomérations du pays.

It’s on track. The Occitanie Region, the Department of Hérault, the Metropolis of Montpellier and the Agglomerates of Sète, Lunel and Pays de l’Or have officially applied to obtain a metropolitan RER on along the coastline. The entire territory sent a letter to the new Minister of Transport Patrice Vergriete to claim the status of Metropolitan Regional Express Services (Serm).

An idea launched by Emmanuel Macron who asked, at the end of 2022, to develop these rail networks in ten large cities in the country. A year later, at the end of 2023, the Senate adopted the bill aimed at creating these Serms, the concept of which remains very dear to Carole Delga by mixing numerous modes of decarbonized transport: < em> "Daily trains, trams, buses, express coaches, single transport pass, carpooling, reserved lanes, cycle paths…", list the president of the Occitanie Region.

Decarbonize travel

This application was to be announced during the first "urban and territorial mobility meetings", scheduled for this Friday March 29 in Montpellier, and finally postponed until next May. This will be an opportunity to detail the main lines of a project that has become absolutely necessary on the coastal axis between Sète Montpellier and Nîmes. And to obtain more public transport with more timetables and "respond to the saturation of road and rail routes. The Region, the transport organizing authority, is now taking on this candidacy in a logic of developing an ultra-dynamic territory and decarbonizing our travel", estimates Carole Delga.

The Serm, in connection with the LGV project

Major works This is the Occitanie Region, authority organizer of transport, who will lead the project "in a logic of development of an ultra-dynamic territory and decarbonization of our travel ", underlines Carole Delga. But above all, the Serm of Montpellier Méditerranée, will have to be built in connection with the project of the rail line to high speed LGV Montpellier-Perpignan. If the schedule is respected, we should not wait for the start of work before 2029, for commissioning at a later date. the horizon 2034! Patience, therefore…

It is indeed "improving services to urban areas while promoting alternative mobility to the individual car" , pushes Kléber Mesquida, president of the Department of Hérault. Michaël Delafosse, mayor of Montpellier and president of the Metropolis also insists on "the demographic progression of our territory, among the strongest in France, its economic vitality or the increasingly significant effects of global warming force us to accelerate the development of our transport infrastructure".

A national conference on June 30

The letter is also signed by Stéphan Rossignol, president of the agglomeration community of Pays de l’Or, François Commeinhes, president of Sète Agglopôle Méditerranée and Pierre Soujol, president of the community of Lunel Agglo  nbsp;: "United, we are undoubtedly stronger and more effective in the public service that we provide to our fellow citizens", recalls Michaël Delafosse.

This declaration of intent does not prejudge that the Montpellier coast will benefit from a metropolitan RER. President Macron announced six months ago his desire to launch "13 projects". But senators are still wondering about the financing of these Serms, estimated at between 15 and 20 billion euros for the coming decade. The State has promised €767 million to help the regions finance the winning projects. A national financing conference must be held by June 30, 2024. This will be the time to know if the Montpellier project will be among those selected…

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