Complementarity or Competition Between Road and Rail Public Transport Services in Suburban Areas : Impact of French Institutional Organization of Public Transport on the Available Transport Supply
TREVE-THOMAS Isabelle, CERTU, HASIAK Sophie, CETE Nord Picardie, ZOGALL Bertrand, CETE Nord-Picardie
The efficiency of a public transport service network depends on policies implemented by institutional authorities responsible for it.
Whereas in urban areas, the public transport is a charge of a single authority, the situation is different in suburban areas because of a sharing of competences between several authorities.
This paper analyzes one of the result of this organization through the existence of a dual public transport supply (by rail or by road) on the same origins and destinations. It sets out a first assessment about the coordination or competition between these two service supplies. By crossing two different points of view (that of the institutional actors and that from the traveler), this paper highlights the challenge to reach a better coordination of public transport policies in suburban areas, in order to offer appropriate services to users.
The french transport code that replaced in 2010 the reference law about transport organization (called LOTI and adopted in 1982) has established a sharing of transport competencies according to two territorial scales : the urban scale and the interurban scale.
In interurban territories, the organization is more complex than in urban areas because it is divided up between two institutional authorities : the Region and the Department. These two institutions have specific competencies and intervention areas. Since 2002, the two french Regions are responsible for rail regional services, while the hundred Departments are in charge of road transport services on their territory.
In the actual context of sustainable development policies, both transport authorities want to develop public transport supply whatever their scope of intervention, so that organizing transport in suburban areas implies the cooperation between 2 interurban authorities but also with the urban authority.
To know more on those issues, a specific study has been recently begun by CERTU and led by CETE.
In a first stage, this study has identified several cases of multiple public transport services organized by different authorities in suburban areas. Only links between the same origin and destination served simultaneously by a rail and a road service with a quite good level of service (in terms of frequency, regularity, large span of service...) were considered.
These routes have been studied according several topics such as territory and population served, level of service, pricing range,...
In a second stage, the study assesses these situations of dual transport supply by analyzing quantitative data on a basis of a dual approach : institutional actors’ or travelers’ point of view. According to the topics that are appraised, it shows that we can speak at once about a logic of complementarity and also for some topics of competition for a same link.
The study highlights the necessity to have a better coordination of the different transport authorities in order to reduce implementation costs of transport services in suburban territories and first and foremost to offer better services to suburban territories. This is a particularly important challenge for the french authorities, as it concerns a large population in suburban territories, where car traffic growth have to be limited. It also potentially concerns other countries.
Association for European Transport