The Paris transport network RATP said on Monday it will invest a record 1.78 billion ($1.9 billion) next year to “extend,
modernise and maintain” a system which carries some 14 million passengers per day.
The publicly-run RATP approved a sum surpassing this year's investments by €26 million at a meeting last Friday as it pursues a five-year €8.5 billion rolling programme of upgrades which the firm unveiled last month.
The programme is being carried out under a contract with the Stif, Paris' regional transport authority.
The 2016 cash injection will see €417 million spent on several metro and tram line extensions as well as several station facelifts in Paris to ensure they can accommodate the planned new Grand Paris Express line 15, that will eventually run round the edge of the city when it is completed by 2030.
Line 15 is part of the Grand Paris project that will is designed to better link the isolated suburbs around to the centre of the capital (see map below).
In all four new Metro lines will be built by 2030. For more information click here.
Metro lines 4, 11, 12 and 14 are scheduled to be extended: Line 4 will be extended south to the of Bagneaux, line 11 will be extended to the east to the town of Rosny-Bois-Perrier, line 12 is be stretched north to Aubervilliers and the line 14 up to Saint-Ouen on the northern edge of Paris.
Metro lines 4,9 and 13 will be given particular financial attention in order to improve the frequency of services.
Another €569 million will go on modernising rolling stock and a further €791 million for modernisation of information systems and general renovation.
RATP are to push ahead with an auto-pilot system on the central section of the RER A and roll out 3G and 4G on the network.
The Paris Metro opened in 1900 — 37 years after the world's first underground system in London, while the RER regional rapid transit network began operating in 1969.
The RER commuter train system around Paris often comes in for criticism from users, with one group of disgruntled passengers launching a law suit against the RATP for all the delays and disruption on the RER B.
Banker Jean-Louis Roura, who was behind the class action lawsuit told The Local: “The rail transport network in the Paris region is in a state of failure and it impacts on people’s ability to find and keep jobs.
“Despite all this the government and regional authorities remain deaf to these concerns. The politicians are completely disconnected from the concerns of citizens.
“Over the last two years, the problems have increased. It’s not just the RER A, but the whole network. Trains are cancelled and services are cut or delayed. Then there are problems with trains breaking down and problems we don’t even understand. It’s a nineteenth century transport system that is not fit for the 21st century.