The RATP Group is the world’s fifth largest public transport operator of mass transport systems such as metros, rail, tramways and buses. Every day it transports more than 12 million passengers, in France and globally. In the Ile-de-France region alone, RATP is responsible for the operation, maintenance, modernisation and development of one of the world’s densest multi-model transport systems.
RATP launched the Paris metropolitan network modernisation program when the first, fully-automated metro line (Line 14) was put into service. As part of this modernisation program, a project to automate Line 1 began in November 2011. Line 1 is the Paris metro’s oldest and most heavily used line, carrying 725,000 passengers each day. RATP recognised that modernissation was vital to ensure the smooth and safe operation of the line.
Faced with constantly increasing traffic and a growing demand for travel information by its passengers, the RATP Group sought innovative solutions for upgrading the saturated network and improving passenger information. Its overriding aim was to satisfy customers’ demand for safety, comfort, regularity, flexibility and information.
RATP launched a tender process to recruit specialist suppliers with an acknowledged expertise in their field of activity. A strategic RATP partner for almost 10 years, Capgemini was selected to pilot Line 1’s information systems and the installation of audiovisual equipment. Capgemini developed a solution (SCADA 2.0) that would cater specifically to RATP’s requirements for an information control system. Several types of audiovisual systems were installed for different functions: management of alarm systems, audiovisual video protection of passenger areas on board trains, visual surveillance of platform screen doors, on-board passenger interphones, train and platform sound systems, and combined telephone-radio communication links with RATP staff.
The newly-automated Line 1 is a success. Since rollout of the automated system in November 2011, the line has circulated smoothly with no major interruptions to service. Automation means that trains can be put into operation almost instantaneously if there is a sudden passenger influx. New platform screen doors guarantee that passengers cannot get onto the line and traffic can be regulated safely. Passengers are able to contact a Centralissed Command Post (CCP) supervisor at any time during their journey via an interphone. The uninterrupted operation of a traditional metro line is a global first, both from a technical and organisational standpoint. It was a vital technical development if the RATP was to rise to the challenges of anticipating and responding to constant increases in passenger numbers.
For Ile-de-France commuters or those travelers passing through Paris, the figures are impressive: the new carriages have 49 more places than non-automated trains, while the intervals between trains have been cut from 105 seconds to 85 seconds. Passengers have suffered fewer delays and accidents, mainly because of the installation of platform screen doors and improved timetable reliability.
The automated trains will share the line with manually-operated trains until December 2012, when a switch to full automation is scheduled. The expectation is that around 50% of current passenger delays’ on Line 1 could then be eliminated.