Ile-de-France: what should we expect from the basics of public transport financing?

Attacking the financial situation of the Ile-de-France Mobilités (IDFM), for which she is responsible, the president of the Ile-de-France region, Valerie Pécresse, recalled her intention to organize “help to finance the French”. This Monday, January 23, a big transpartisan seminar day will be held at the Regional Council.

Valerie Pécres, heavily criticized for raising the Navigo pass from 75.20 euros to 84.10 euros on January 1, said the finances of Ile-de-France Mobilités (IDFM), the organizer of public transport in Ile-de-France, which she leads, are secure. As president of the region, they were “healthy” and invited IDFM administrators to participate in the “Ile-de-France transport financing aid”.

Who funds what?

The goal? Bringing together all the mobility players in the Ile-de-France region, including the state and the population, to imagine solutions to transparently finance the public transport of tomorrow. “I want everything on the table […] So let’s see who is funding what,” explained the regional president, and after a while he would like to remind that the “real cost” of the Navigo pass was actually 240 euros per month.

Referring to the “new materials”, he said, “an open discussion so that we can see who is financing what, what is the real cost of transport, and the extent of the transport revolution expected in the next 6 years.” or even “new lines”. It also launched an opportunity to “remind the various operators that the quality of transport needs to be there”.

Thanks to an extreme 200 million euro bailout from the state, Valeri Pekres was convinced to “avoid the worst-case scenario for 2023” after briefly considering increasing the price of the Navigo pass to 100 euros per month. . However, the question of public transport funding remains open, and work on the construction of the Grand Paris Express is already well advanced.

Because this is the essence of the matter. From the opening of the Assizes at 10am this Monday, surrounded by Réseau Matthieu Chabanel, CEO of SNCF, is none other than the former Prime Minister and the new CEO of RATP, Jean Castex, who is also Chairman of the Board. Compagnie du Grand Paris Jean-François Monteils was invited to discuss the operating costs of the new lines, especially those expected for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

An opportunity to remind “who pays what” from someone who has not stopped campaigning for a fair increase of 7.5% for each of the various actors in public transport funding in recent months. Today, local authorities, primarily Paris, finance 12% of public transport in the region, followed by travelers (38%) and finally companies through Versement Mobilités (VM).

What new resources are available?

Calling for a “fair effort” for all, the IDFM president is indeed fighting for a 7.5% increase in VM. In addition, the decision to increase this tax applied to the payroll of companies with more than 11 employees is not within his competence and the state has always opposed it until now.

And this is indeed an immutable fact: Valerie Pekres continues to demand state aid to finance “ongoing and future” major projects. He already said a year ago that “it would be appropriate to offer IDFM new tax resources to finance the operation of these projects, especially the Grand Paris Express”.

Various proposals regarding transportation financing will be studied. Among them, whether it is the “city charge, vignette, fuel tax or even the contribution of drivers through the strengthening of measures”. […] A car ban proposed by the Court of Auditors” or even a tax on “part of the capital gains of local authorities and companies on real estate from the commissioning of stations and new station lines” is under construction.

In IDFM, we remember that two years ago, the state also “started the process of thinking to find new sources of funding”. The ball is still in the court of the State, “sole authority in tax matters.” “We need sustainable funding […] to make public transport workable” we insisted at IDFM.

Also responsible for closing this rich day of discussions is none other than Clément Beaune, Minister of Transport Representative. It’s hard to imagine big announcements being made this Monday, although time is running out to meet the delivery schedule of the new lines, but Valérie Pécresse still managed to get everyone around the table and perhaps already succeeded in her bet. : putting public transport at the center of everyone’s priorities for the coming months.

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