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The automated metro

As a long-standing player in automated metro systems, RATP has played a pioneering role in the development of this transport mode. For over 70 years, RATP teams, and more generally those of RATP Group, have developed unparalleled integrated expertise in the design, transformation, operation and maintenance of these high-performance, sustainable networks. The teams continue to innovate daily to invent the services of the future.

This transport mode is now a development priority for RATP Group, and is a practical expression of its driving purpose: dedicating every day to better city living.
Whether we are creating efficient public transport networks in expanding cities or transforming existing networks in the heart of old cities, these infrastructure projects are always developed in the interests of passengers, residents and the sustainable city.

RATP Group in three figures
380 km of fully automated or semi-automated metro lines will eventually be operated worldwide by RATP Group
20 fully automated or semi-automated lines will eventually be operated by RATP Group

As a trusted partner, RATP Group is at the service of cities and public transport authorities, enabling them to make strategic decisions to boost their development and attractiveness. With the automated metro, RATP deploys bespoke mobility solutions for each city, depending on its history and needs, to transform the existing system or to invent the public transport of the future.

The automated metro: an ally in the low-carbon trajectory of cities

The automated metro has proved to be one of the most effective technological and ecological responses to the challenges of sustainable mobility. Agile, robust and with high capacity, automated metros can adapt to local conditions. With the automation of metro lines 1 and 4 in the Île-de-France region, the automated metro has regenerated a network that is over 100 years old, and will enhance the existing network with the northern and southern extensions to metro line 14 and with the upcoming Grand Paris Express.

The automated metro is stimulating urban growth in the Middle East, Asia, Australia and Canada, and is helping to relieve congestion and limit the use of private cars. It participates fully in the energy transition of cities towards a carbon-free model and is an effective solution in both greenfield projects in rapidly expanding cities and in the upgrade of historic networks.

68% of the world’s population will be living in urban areas in 2050, compared with 55% in 2020
15% reduction in energy consumption following the automation of metro line 4.

Automation of existing networks, state-of-the-art expertise

The conversion of conventional metro lines to systems with no on-board staff has considerable advantages for cities: automation can improve energy performance, quality of service and safety on busy lines. In other words, it ensures service excellence overall, whether in terms of passenger information, punctuality, journey times, noise levels in stations or response time in the event of an incident. The automation of a metro line results in an increase in speed, regularity and robustness on a daily basis. It also ensures that traffic flows more smoothly and the offering level can be flexibly increased or reduced: all the trains on the line are managed in real time from one operational control centre.

Metro line 1: Fully automated at 100 years old

The automation of Paris metro line 1 was completed in 2012 with no major disruptions to traffic, and was a true technical achievement. This project was carried out on the busiest line in the network and was a world first in the transport sector; never before had an operator converted an operational line with drivers to an automated line on this scale.

Metro line 4: automated with no major disruptions to the service

The work to automate metro line 4 began, in 2016 and is scheduled for completion in 2023. Passengers have already been using automated shuttles, introduced alongside conventional trains, since autumn 2022. This new project follows on from metro line 1, is entirely financed by Île-de-France Mobilités and the works are taking place with no major disruptions to traffic; this project is further advancing the expertise of the RATP Group teams.

Edgar See, manager of the Metro transport division, RATP Group

“Automation is a complex operation which requires the integration of industrial partners to guarantee total control regarding safety of the engineering, operating and maintenance activities, to ensure the efficient operation of the line and the network (infrastructure, trains, systems) over a long period to guarantee high performance in the long term. RATP also works in close collaboration with different manufacturers to avoid becoming dependent on a single operating system. This was our approach with the Paris metro when we developed the Octys system with Alstom, Siemens and Hitachi.”

Supporting sustainable urban development

While automating lines offers a solution for mature urban areas, other cities are interested in the automated metro, notably those that have experienced rapid growth based entirely around the car, and which are now facing saturation. This is notably the case in the Middle East, for example in Doha or Riyadh, a city which was eager to adopt public transport systems to promote more harmonious growth. The automated metro forms the backbone on which bus and tram lines will be grafted in these cities.

The city of Riyadh is very spread out, and everyone here uses a car. The authorities therefore wanted a world-class public transport network to relieve congestion and reduce pollution in the capital. There are severe weather constraints here: dust, sand, temperatures above 40°C, etc., so any system has to adapt to this. The cultural context also plays a major role. Quality of service standards are very high: for example, there is a requirement for 99.8% availability, regularity, cleanliness and safety on our lines.

Loïc Cordelle
Managing director of CAMCO
Voyageurs sur les quais du métro de la ligne 1
Paris, France

• 3 fully automated lines (metro lines 1, 14, Orlyval)
• 1 line (metro line 4) currently undergoing automation

Ville de Riyad
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

• 2 fully automated lines (blue and red lines)
• 63.3 km
• 40 stations

Métro en extérieur à Doha, red line.
Doha, Qatar

• 3 fully automated lines (red, green and gold lines)
• 76 km
• 37 stations

Métro dans la ville du Caire
Cairo, Egypt

• 1 semi-automated line (line 3)
• Over a million passengers per day are expected on the line

Reconciling mass transit with high-quality passenger experience
98% passenger satisfaction in terms of punctuality on automated metro lines
40% reduction in noise on the latest-generation trains (MP14)
95,5% passenger satisfaction with the information provided during normal operation on metro line 1

Enhanced passenger experience

Greater comfort, a reduction in noise, welcoming trains and stations, state-of-the-art passenger information and clean and well-maintained facilities: automated metro networks combine the best in passenger experience. On metro line 14, the new MP14 trains financed by Île-de-France Mobilités offer a 40% reduction in interior noise, new and more ergonomic seats and dynamic displays that provide information inside the carriages.

The station platforms on metro line 4 have been totally renovated as part of the line automation to improve passenger welcome and comfort with a warm atmosphere, cosy seating, modernised tiling and flooring and new lighting. The new automated metro in Doha operated by the RKH Qitarat joint venture which includes RATP Dev, runs at a maximum speed of 100 km/hour and provides excellent comfort and cleanliness in its stations.

Metro line 14: innovation to improve the customer experience

The pioneering metro line 14 is the most popular line on the Paris metro network, and it is determined to maintain its top spot! The line has experienced an unprecedented expansion since 2015: to Mairie de Saint-Ouen in the north in 2021 and to Saint-Denis Pleyel in 2024. It is now advancing towards Orly in the south, with the opening scheduled for 2024 in time for the Paris Olympic Games. These extensions represent a change in scale for the line. By linking the centre of Paris to one of the major French airports in 20 minutes, it will welcome new types of passengers: those who commute to work in Paris every day, and also tourists and business passengers. The line aims to provide all users with tailor-made offers.

On metro line 14: innovations to improve the customer experience

Architecture d'une station de la ligne 14 nord
Stations that feel at home in their city

The contemporary architecture of the four new stations on the northern extension of metro line 14 integrates perfectly into the fabric of the city.

L’utilisation de la géothermie est expérimentée pour chauffer les stations Porte de Clichy et Mairie de Saint-Ouen
Heat drawn from the ground

The use of geothermal energy is being trialled to heat Porte de Clichy and Mairie de Saint-Ouen stations. The thermoactive foundations transfer heat to or from the ground to ensure temperature control inside the stations.
This geothermal capture results in a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions, a 20% to 40% drop in sulphur dioxide emissions and 40% decline in nitrogen oxides emissions.

Métro en station de la ligne 14 avec des voyageurs
Connected platform-edge doors

The platform-edge doors incorporate waiting time information displays, replacing those previously installed in the middle of the platforms.

Projet Cadence experimentation d'un dispositif d?aide a la gestion des flux sur les quais de la station Gare de Lyon de la ligne 14.
AI to streamline traffic

Artificial intelligence is being trialled at Gare de Lyon station to measure flow density on platforms and on board trains to provide this information to passengers. Passengers can then choose to move to less busy platforms or carriages.

À bord des métros de nouvelle génération de la ligne 14, des écrans embarqués proposent, 
de façon dynamique et en temps réel, des informations qui simplifient la vie des voyageurs.
On-board information

Displays on board the new-generation metro line 14 trains provide dynamic, real-time information to make passengers’ lives easier.

85 -second intervals between trains at peak hours
Twice as many passengers carried by 2024
17% saving in electricity with the new MP14 trains
Control of the entire skills chain

RATP Group brings together the best of its talents to meet the needs of cities. In addition to the essential technical and service expertise, what makes the difference is the human commitment to serving all members of the public and the focus on the specific demands of each region.

A global and integrated approach

RATP Group has opted for integrated expertise: as both an operator and maintenance provider, it has a wide range of skills and is not simply a network “user”, but a stakeholder in the entire value chain. RATP teams are able to take a critical look at existing metro systems, advise cities on improvements and transformation projects and on the acquisition of new systems. When RATP teams are awarded an operating contract, they take end-to-end responsibility for the management of the assets (rolling stock and infrastructure) that are entrusted to them. The Group is one of only two operators in the world with the dual capacity to manage operations-maintenance and project ownership. This enables RATP to participate in a range of diverse contracts, including upstream design and project management either on new lines or old networks. For renovation projects, RATP can help the public transport authority to anticipate risks and ensure that the line operates safely and efficiently every day.

With over 2,000 engineers, the Group has a vast pool of experts who specialise in automated metro systems throughout their life cycle, across the entire value chain and in all their technological aspects. These resources can be implemented to commission a new metro, operate and maintain lines, and improve existing networks.

Dao Dam-Hieu
Bid Director, RATP Dev

Positive impacts on regions

RATP Group’s commitment to regions, notably supported by its corporate Foundation, covers the major issues of employment, culture, education and the ecological transition. As a pre-eminent capacity-building transport mode, the automated metro not only shapes the landscape and mobility of the cities it serves, but also generates many positive impacts in terms of education, integration and social diversity. In the Île-de-France region, the extension of metro line 4 to Bagneux has connected the town to the centre of Paris, opening up new opportunities for residents.

As another example, the 460,000 integration hours scheduled for the various construction sites on the southern extension to metro line 14 will boost the recruitment of local residents who are currently excluded from the job market (under qualified young people under 26, long-term job seekers, welfare recipients, people with disabilities, etc.).
In Egypt, RATP Dev Mobility Cairo, the subsidiary that operates Green Line 3 on the Cairo metro, has recruited more than 2,000 employees and has made a conscious effort to recruit more women for transport jobs. A local training centre is being created to ensure the transfer of knowledge and know-how.

Marie-Hélène Amiable, Mayor of Bagneux (Hauts-de-Seine)

Marie-Hélène Amiable, Mayor of Bagneux (Hauts-de-Seine)

“People come up to me in the street to talk about the line 4 extension as an opportunity for them and their children to study and to find work. Lucie Aubrac station has transformed the town in a very visible way, with the creation of a new square that will also be home to the future station on metro line 15 (…). Quality transport in the town also means reduced travel time for Bagneux residents, more equality for all and a greater respect for our environment.”

Let’s go further together

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