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A new investment plan, single title, time dispatch… The Group of authorities responsible for transport (Gart) presents its proposals to the candidates for the presidential elections to promote mobility.
In 2019, just before the health crisis, 73% of French people said they regularly used public transport. Based on this observation, the Group of authorities responsible for transport announces, a few days before the presidential elections, seven proposals to encourage sustainable daily mobility.
The Gart recalls first of all that a massive financial commitment by the State is essential to support the deployment of clean mobility. The State has launched four calls for projects since 2008 for the development of exclusive rail public transport lines and multimodal exchange centers in mainland France and abroad. However, for the Groupement, this support is “far from being sufficient to fulfill the strong ambitions of the Mobility Organizing Authority (MOA)”.
In this context, the Gart recommends that the State mobilize 5,000 million euros in the next 5 years, through various calls for specific projects to “distribute funding better according to need” AOM. This investment plan will be divided into an allocation of 3,000 million euros to develop the mobility offer, including active mobility, and 2,000 million euros over 5 years for the reconversion of the entire vehicle fleet to lower emission materials.
Reduce VAT to 5.5%
“By increasing the VAT rate on public transport to 7% in 2012, then to 10% in 2014, the State caused the public transport authorities to lose 250 million euros in annual resources”, laments the Gart. To increase the investment capacity of the AOMs, the group proposes to restore VAT to 5.5% on daily public transport.
This measure would provide funding margins to continue infrastructure investments, without any increase in user fees or additional contributions from employers or local budgets.
Transformation of grants into cash advances
The third proposal refers to the transformation of subsidies into cash advances paid in the context of the health crisis. To compensate for the loss of revenue from the AOM fees, the State had established reimbursable advances through zero-rate loans. but with help “remains below pre-crisis figures”reimbursement of these advance payments that include a clause of “return to better fortune” could pose a financial problem for AOMs.
So that the AOMs can continue with their investments to make their transport network even more attractive, the essential public support would therefore go through the transformation of the reimbursable advances into subsidies. What “It would allow to obtain more substantial aid for daily mobility, something forgotten in the recovery plan”.
In addition, it recommends guaranteeing the sustainability of mobility payments. This questioned production tax continues to be a pillar of the French economic model of urban mobility that has made it possible to finance 9,000 million euros in 2021 for urban transport. “Its withdrawal or replacement by another less adequate resource would call into question the very existence of urban transport networks in the different territories and the collapse of the economic model”alert the group.
A single ticket for all forms of mobility
To allow the French an easier access to the entire public mobility offer, the Gart proposes the development of a single pass, already available in Switzerland. This title would be available on a single platform, developed under the aegis of the State. Thus, users could buy, keep their tickets, be accompanied and guided in real time with route calculation functions, service offerings and traffic forecasting.
To improve the public transport service, the group also recommends the creation of a “time office” at the national level and decentralized at the departmental or regional level. This would make it possible to smooth the use of road and transport networks throughout the day, optimize human and material resources, and improve urban congestion problems through shared mobility solutions.
Integrating BioNGV in very low emission energies
Gart’s seventh and last proposal refers to the integration of BioNGV from methanation in very low emission energies, in the same way as electricity and hydrogen. This exclusion of BioNGV raises the issue of investments initiated by AOMs finding themselves with BioNGV fleets that must already evolve to hydrogen and electricity to comply with regulations.
It is about rethinking “the qualification criteria for the EURO categories, to consider characteristics other than greenhouse gas emissions” to facilitate and accelerate the greening of fleets, “even temporarily” especially for smaller AOMs.