If free public transport is still debated even among defenders of public transport, the Rouen-Normandy Metropolis (Seine-Maritime) has decided to take a first step in this direction by testing it every Saturday from September 5 on the its entire network for one year.
A campaign promise from the new mayor of Rouen, Nicolas-Mayer Rossignol, also president of the metropolis, who insisted on making it a priority at a time when the frequentation of Rouen buses and metros is a victim of the consequences of the epidemic of Covid-19.
This experiment should make it possible to measure the impact of this measure voted on during the last metropolitan council. This implies that each user will still have to validate a “non-paying” transport ticket, whether subscriber or occasional user, in order to collect quantified information for analysis.
“If we refer to the example of Dunkirk, we could see attendance increase by 30%”, details the ecologist Cyrille Moreau, the vice-president in charge of mobility who hopes that this initiative will convince some of the motorists to leave their vehicle in the garage.
One way to support traders
“The choice of Saturday is also a way of supporting our merchants by facilitating access to the city center and avoiding the phenomena of traffic and parking saturation that we know”, insists Nicolas Mayer-Rossignol who ensures that the financial effort of 1.5 million euros linked to this free service is bearable for the community budget. In the future, it could be extended to Sunday, in order to create “a weekend effect” as Cyrille Moreau describes it.