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the call for help from public and rail transport

Thierry Mallet, CEO of Transdev, in Paris in 2018. (Photo by ERIC PIERMONT / AFP)

The alert was launched by Thierry Mallet, CEO of Transdev, on Monday February 21, during the presentation of the 2021 results of the public transport operator, a subsidiary of Caisse des dépôts and one of the world leaders in the sector. “I was quite confident about 2022, but our big concern now comes from energy prices, did he declare. We must find solutions to this new crisis that is starting. »

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This is a new shock for a sector already weakened by the health crisis. Above all, it strikes in all directions, and even more so where it is not expected. With its fleets of buses and coaches, public transport is a big consumer of diesel, but the most scathing increase comes rather from the gas used for CNG buses and the electricity used for electric vehicles and metro traction, trains and trams. However, these industrial buyers do not benefit from the anti-rise shields put in place by the government to prevent individuals from suffering the yo-yos of gas and electricity.

“For diesel, the contracts signed with local authorities and the authorities organizing mobility (AOM) effectively protect us against increases, explains Frédéric Baverez, executive director for France of the operator Keolis, a subsidiary of the SNCF. On the other hand, the indices serving as a basis for a revaluation are less reliable for gas, since they include the price paid by private individuals, and even less reliable for electricity, whose price on the spot market has been multiplied by three or four. “The rise in the price of gas is a multiplication by three in France, and by ten in other markets such as the Czech Republic”adds Mr. Mallet.

“Waiting for a strong gesture”

“Over the first two months of the year, we lost 15 million euros due to the rise in energy prices, underlines the boss of Transdev. This level of additional cost is not sustainable for companies with low margins, such as ours. » By way of comparison, in 2021, Transdev achieved a current result (excluding exceptional losses) of 33 million euros. The RATP group also says “Strongly impacted by the rise in energy prices, particularly gas. Our energy bill will rise sharply this year”.

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More broadly, the Union of Public and Rail Transport (UTP), the sector’s professional organization, estimates that the increase in fuel and electricity prices over one year (from February 2021 to February 2022) represents 250 million euros. euros of additional charges for its members. And all these figures do not take into account the month of March and the lasting effects of the war in Ukraine.

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