Brest: room made for clean transport
The new tram system in Brest is one of the features at the heart of the city designed to bring about successful change and development. The system has 14.3 km of track, with a total journey time of 38 minutes and 27 stops 500 metres apart, as well as four park-and-ride facilities, which should transform the life of this maritime city.
Creating a tram route is part of a sustainable development and mobility policy operated across the Pays de Brest agglomeration. This urban policy focuses on different strategies relating to the quality of urban life, the revitalisation of certain districts, the city's economic growth by offering investors new areas for development, and concern about protecting the environment and the city's heritage - in particular the road along the port and the watersheds.
There are currently 57 600 people who live in the districts directly served by the new tram system. The route running east to west is expected to be used by 49 500 passengers every day. Twenty-seven per cent of the population living in built-up areas and 38 % of jobs are located within less than 450 metres of the track. At the same time, the existing bus network will be reorganised and improved, with the aim of carrying 27 % more passengers.
New look for the city
This new means of public transport will lead to a reduction in annual CO2 emissions of 5 371 tonnes. This reduction will be accompanied by a noticeable boost in efficiency, in view of the fact that one tram carriage can carry 200 passengers, the equivalent of four busloads and 177 carloads.
The absence of steps will allow better access to carriages. Access ramps and wider passageways will make it easier for people with reduced mobility and children's pushchairs to move around. It will also be possible to bring bicycles on board.
Brest is also eager to utilise this new asset to develop pedestrian areas and cycle paths, redesign public areas and decorate them with works of art, as well as offer new, high-quality urban developments and revitalise the city centre. Indeed, national surveys have also indicated that urban areas which have opted in favour of a tram system enjoy a large increase in visitor numbers to the city centre (up to 30 % in Montpellier and Strasbourg), thereby benefiting commercial activity.
Management and jobs
A public service delegation contract was signed between the Communauté urbaine de Brest métropole océane (organising authority) and Keolis Brest, a simplified limited company which is a subsidiary of the limited company Keolis (delegating authority), for a period of eight years, commencing 1 January 2010. When the public service delegation contract has come to an end, the organising authority will replace the delegating authority.
There will be 658 jobs created directly during the implementation phase of the project, and 10 in the operational phase. Furthermore, the tram system's construction site and operation will produce high demand among small and medium-sized businesses in the whole region and should generate EUR 150 to 180 million in local commercial activity.
Total cost and EU involvement
The estimated cost of the "Construction of the Brest tram system" project is EUR 79 051 001. The European Regional Development Fund contribution amounts to EUR 15 450 000 in the period 2007-2013.