Urban transport in Greater Montauban: Opposition quarrels with Brigitte Barèges over bus traffic forecasts by 2031

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The renewal of the urban transport service delegation (DSP), which was on the agenda of the Grand Montauban city council on Tuesday 23 May, gives rise to a battle of figures between Brigitte Barèges and the opposition. Socialist Arnaud Hilion denies having made “miscalculations” in the attendance forecasts of the city bus network. On the contrary, he believes that “the majority of Brigitte Barèges do not assume their figures”.

The battle of figures that began on Tuesday evening, in the Greater Montauban agglomeration council, over the renewal of the delegation of the urban transport public service is not over. “The majority of Brigitte Barèges does not adopt figures of its own,” observes opposition adviser Arnaud Hilion in a press release.

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Battle of numbers at the Grand Montauban agglomeration council

“The delegate selection report presented to us shows a reduction of around 25% in attendance between the start of the DSP (2023) and its end (2031). A 25% increase in the ticket price is therefore assumed, which will lead to a sharp drop in attendance but an increase in revenues. Obviously we voted against this retrograde resolution because faced with climate issues and the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it is precisely the opposite that must be done: support public transport to reduce the price for users and therefore increase attendance . The majority of Brigitte Barèges got it all wrong: on her urban transport policy, she got stuck in the 20th century”, faces the leader of the group “The alternative for Montauban”.

“Since then, Mme Barèges, who is perhaps beginning to realize the inconsistency of her choice, has accused us in the press of bad faith and of having made calculation errors.

To be perfectly transparent, the table on page 18 of the report (reproduced above) indicates:
-1,181,325 travelers in 2023 (over 6 months) and 866,430 travelers in 2031 (over 6 months), or a decrease of 26.6%;
-7,087 subscribers in 2023 and 5,509 subscribers in 2031, a decrease of 22.2%.

Also, regarding pricing, the report states on page 13: “The provider has not proposed any price changes on the public transport network with the exception of the price of the unit ticket purchased on buses (change from €1.2 to €1.5). This has the effect of reducing attendance (-24,000 validations) but increases revenues (+15,350 euros excluding taxes) according to the provider’s data. The bidder’s offer is therefore in line with the provisions of Grand Montauban“.

It is therefore a 25% increase in the ticket price which will lead to a drop in attendance, in line with the expectations of Greater Montauban. And that is precisely what we deplore,” concludes Arnaud Hilion.

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