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Special issue COVID-19

Working together to ease the transport lockdown successfully

Even during an epidemic of global magnitude and almost complete lockdown of the population, RATP Group’s activities have remained essential for the continuity of services indispensable to cities in the 12 countries where we operate. This is especially true in the Île-de-France region, where RATP has demonstrated its ability to adapt to exceptional circumstances and constraints.
Since the address given by the French President on 13 April, we have been actively preparing for the end of lockdown in the Île-de-France region, in close collaboration with the organising authority for public transport, Île-de-France Mobilités. All our resources have been deployed to offer the maximum transport service as from 11 May, in order to support the economic recovery of the region.
We are taking up a great challenge in implementing the physical distancing target laid down by the French government, which implies doing everything to limit journeys up front and regulate passenger flows as much as possible. A charter has been signed to this effect with the State, the region, our transport authority, local authorities and transport operators to maintain teleworking in companies as much as possible and minimise peak-time use of public transport. A written authorisation system has also been put in place to allow travel during peak hours. RATP has more than 3,400 staff members active in the field, backed up by external staff and law enforcement agencies, to welcome its customers and to channel flows. A successful end to lockdown also requires that passengers play their part. This is the reasoning behind the “Passengers’ Pact” that we have launched, based on RATP’s commitments to its customers and on the new habits they must adopt, such as the compulsory wearing of masks.


Behind the scenes

A transport service adapted to the circumstances
Enhanced daily cleaning
Innovative solutions to disinfect our rolling stock
A new pact to travel differently on our lines

What are the service targets from 11 May?

On 11 May, we deployed all our available capacity to meet the challenge of the end to lockdown. 3,400 staff members and security providers are currently mobilised by RATP to welcome customers and to channel flows in more than 300 operating metro and RER stations.

On Monday, May 25, return to normal hours on the RATP network.

– On this date, buses, trams, metro and RER RATP will return to normal timetables: the metro will run from 5.30 am to 1.15 am and the RER from 5 am to 1.15 am.

– RER A and RER B frequencies will increase with an almost normal offer. Bus frequencies will also be increased as a whole with an average of 4 out of 5 buses.

Given the current health requirements, we ask that you continue to limit their travel as much as possible.

75% service has been available on average across the RATP network since 11 May
100% service on automated metro lines 1 and 14
100% traffic on line 13 since 13 May

How have our facilities been adapted to ensure physical distancing?

How have our facilities been adapted to ensure physical distancing?

We have adapted signage in our facilities, to encourage physical distancing. Over the past two weeks, a million stickers have been printed and affixed to certain seats, indicating that they should not be used. On the platforms, floor markings have been used to avoid passengers crossing paths. Near service counters, in connecting corridors, and also inside rolling stock, floor markings remind passengers to maintain sufficient distance between each other. In terms of cleanliness, incentive measures have been put in place, to remind passengers of the right habits to adopt, such as throwing away single-use masks, gloves or tissues. Finally, audio announcements adapted to each transport mode are broadcast on our networks, in order to encourage compliance with distancing rules and barrier measures.

Rallying together

New habits for passengers

Follow floor markings and keep your distance
Respect stickers showing that seats should not be used
Wear a mask in all circumstances
Adopt good hygiene practices
Buy tickets online
Opt for alternative forms of mobility

Joint communication to limit the influx of passengers

Joint communication to limit the influx of passengers

Under the hashtag #TousMobilisés, Île-de-France Mobilités, RATP and the other regional operators have launched a communications campaign to promote the responsible use of public transport. It is based on strong slogans on 3 themes: teleworking (“to go to the office, the safest way is to go from the bathroom to the living room”), the staggering of working hours (“to help tackle the virus, let’s postpone the 9:30 a.m. meeting.”) and the use of alternative mobility with the slogan “bike-work-sleep”. The campaign is supported by 16 ads in the national and regional press, on the website 20, and on partners’ social networks. It is also displayed on 690 Numériflash screens on the RATP network.

65% of home-to-work journeys in the Île-de-France region are usually made by public transport
12 million journeys per day take place on the RATP network under normal conditions
15-20% • The physical distancing rule limits our passenger-carrying capacity to around 15% to 20%

Alternative mobility in the city

Alternative mobility in the city

We are encouraging passengers to opt for alternatives to public transport, such as bicycles or scooters. We have therefore launched a call for partnership with new mobility operators, with a scheme inspired by the scheme implemented during the strike, which allowed us to carry up to 500,000 passengers. We have 15 partners by our side as of 11 May: hybrid bikes, kick scooters, electric scooters, dock-less bikes for hire, and bicycle rental and repair services.

Discover all their offers:

A new pact with our passengers

Under the hashtag #MobilisésEnsemble (#CommittedTogether), RATP offers its customers a new pact to travel differently on its lines. More than ever, we are taking action to let our customers get back on our network, in complete safety. However, in order for their journeys to be as smooth as possible, we also need each of them to behave in a responsible and civic manner. The pact gives a reminder of all the commitments already implemented by RATP: staff members are equipped with masks, in action to manage crowds and enforce barrier measures, our rolling stock and facilities are disinfected daily, hand sanitiser distributors are being progressively provided in our stations, and signage is adapted to maintain physical distancing.

In parallel, the pact sets out the new habits that our passengers must adopt: compulsory wearing of masks; respect for distancing signs; use of rubbish bins to throw away single-use masks, gloves and tissues; online purchase and recharging of tickets; limiting travel to what is strictly necessary and outside peak hours; and use of alternative forms of mobility.

More information:

“It is because we value you that, more than ever, we are taking action to let you get back on our network, in complete safety.” An appeal to civic spirit and responsibility, the Pact that we offer our passengers mirrors our commitments and the new habits to be adopted in our networks as from 11 May.

Compulsory wearing of a mask, an essential rule

The public authorities have made it compulsory to wear a mask within the network, a measure deemed essential by the company. The priority of health and safety, which is an imperative for our staff members, also naturally applies to all our passengers. We are deploying signage on our networks to make our customers aware of this new rule, which precludes eating and drinking while travelling. Since the law of 11 May 2020 came into force to extend the state of health emergency and supplement its provisions, the network security teams and ticket inspectors are now authorised to check compliance with mask wearing and to issue penalty notices to passengers not wearing one.

We are liaising with Île-de-France Mobilités and the State to ensure the provision on our network, only as a backup, of surgical or cloth masks in the first few days following 11 May. Masks and hand sanitiser gel will gradually be put on sale in distributors and shops in the network.

Compulsory mask wearing is an essential measure. It is a key factor during the lockdown easing, and restores passenger confidence in public transport.


An unprecedented effort on cleaning up

An unprecedented effort on cleaning up

RATP Group is aware that this crisis is an unprecedented challenge for public transport, and is therefore committing significant resources to improving the transport health conditions for its customers all over the world. In the Île-de-France region, with the support of Île-de-France Mobilités, disinfectant cleaning has been doubled on the metro and RER, and in metro, RER and bus stations since the start of the crisis. The number of cleaning staff has been increased by 50%, from 1,200 to 1,800. We are deploying innovative solutions to disinfect our rolling stock, such as the ultra-low volume nebuliser technique. In 2020, the company’s cleaning budget is expected to increase by over 70% to €160m.

At the same time, RATP is providing passengers with hand sanitiser gel. 50 distributors are already installed on the network, and our staff members are carrying out mobile distribution at peak times in stations with heavy traffic. By June, all our stations will be equipped, with a total of 1,000 distributors. Passengers will also be able to buy hand sanitiser gel and masks, gradually being put on sale in distributors and shops in the network.

1,800 cleaning staff members in action, + 50% since the start of the crisis
+70% increase in the cleaning budget
4,700 buses disinfected daily with nebulisers
Distribution of hand sanitiser gel in stations

Innovating to tackle the virus

Innovating to tackle the virus

We are deploying new innovative solutions, such as the disinfection of rolling stock with nebulisers. This process, inspired by practices in the airline industry, involves the vaporisation of 20-micron droplets of virucidal product. It was tested on 27 April in two of our bus depots, on 420 vehicles. It is being deployed from 11 May across the entire fleet of 4,700 buses. In just a few weeks, we have completely changed our rolling stock cleaning policy, putting in place robust industrial processes capable of handling a network as extensive as ours. The use of nebulisers is also being trialled on metro trains, on lines 1 and 13.

Enhanced cleaning procedures

New features in the RATP app

New features in the RATP app

We are encouraging remote ticket selling in order to limit physical contact and avoid an influx of passengers buying and recharging tickets and travel passes. The RATP app now allows you to recharge your Navigo pass via your phone, and the purchase of bus tickets is available by SMS ticketing. Passengers can also use the RATP app to make real-time reports of cleanliness problems they may encounter while travelling, for quick intervention.

Resumption of priority projects

This crisis had an immediate impact on our projects, with site work by construction companies coming to an almost complete halt between 16 and 18 March. Our priority was twofold: first and foremost, to ensure the safety of those who work on these sites, and then to secure site boundaries. At the height of the crisis, we continued despite everything, at a reduced pace and while respecting health recommendations, our trials for two key projects: the automation of metro line 4 and the extension of line 14 to the north. This made it possible to commission the new control room for metro line 4 on the night of Saturday 2 to Sunday 3 May: this was an essential step for the testing of automatic shuttle traffic. In addition, the Mairie de Montrouge station has just been equipped with platform-edge doors, which brings the number of stations equipped on line 4 to 17, out of a total of 27 existing stations.

For the past few days, a picking-up phase has been initiated, and all operations have been reviewed to include barrier measures. On the extension of line 14 north to Mairie de Saint-Ouen, we are continuing integration and validation trials of the automatic train operating system, with the first fully automatic shuttle traffic between Saint-Lazare and Pont Cardinet. On the extension of line 14 south to Orly airport, two of the three tunnel boring machines resumed work on 27 April.

Continued and adapted recruitment

This year, RATP Group is recruiting 3,000 people on permanent contracts and 700 on social integration contracts, with a wide variety of opportunities in the areas of driving, customer relations, safety, maintenance, operational management, engineering, innovation and digital, for candidates without a master’s degree or higher. These needs remain current, despite the crisis. The teams are doing everything in their power to continue with recruitment, which is essential to the pursuit of our activity, while ensuring everyone’s safety. Since 17 March, the company has conducted more than 600 interviews remotely, using Skype. From 18 May, psychomotor tests for people applying to become metro drivers will resume.

More information:

All safety rules will be adhered to, our premises disinfected and cleaned several times a day.

Stéphanie Dorain
RATP recruitment manager
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