They call for “emergency braking”.
More than 250 left-wing elected representatives from the Ile-de-France write to Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne to demand the postponement of the opening to competition of the transport network in Île-de-France, planned for the start of 2025 for buses, believing that this process already has a impact on the current difficulties of the RATP.
The 354 bus lines of the historic RATP network are divided into 12 lots, now open to competition.
The first lots may be awarded to competitors or RATP subsidiaries in June 2024.
In an open letter addressed this Monday to the head of government, these mayors (Anne Hidalgo), local elected officials or parliamentarians (Olivier Faure, Mathilde Panot, Sandrine Rousseau, Pierre Laurent, etc.), ask her to "suspend (the) privatization process for all transport in Île-de-France" by "intervening" with Valérie Pécresse, LR president of the region and its transport regulatory authority, Île-de-France Mobilités (IDFM).
Valérie Pécresse "wished for the opening to the private sector of the bus lines currently operated by the RATP", a public operator in which the State is the sole shareholder, "without consulting users, nor transport employees, nor elected officials from the Ile-de-France region”, believe the signatories.
Fear of “social dumping”
For the latter, "the competition and current and future working conditions seriously affect the quality of service and the safety of users", in particular because "the lowest-priced offers" on the social level "have been favored by IDFM in the first batches published”.
Faced with recruitment difficulties, worrying absenteeism, strikes and equipment maintenance problems, the RATP has been struggling for several months to get its buses and metros to run properly, resulting in sometimes very long waiting times and vehicles crowded.
In her wishes broadcast on Saturday December 31, Valérie Pécresse promised that the “exceptionally strong” penalties that the RATP will have to pay for faulty service would be paid in compensation to users.
For its opponents on the left, "the relentless process of preparing the transfer of part of the staff" to private operators explains "in part the historic shortage of drivers" in the capital region.
“Competition is good for customers”
The timetable defined by IDFM for the buses "coincides" with the organization of the Olympics, underline the elected representatives of the left for whom this is an additional argument against a "great leap in the least social and in the organizational unknown”.
Two weeks earlier, the PS mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, had already written to Élisabeth Borne to ask her for the same postponement, in order to "allow the Olympic and Paralympic Games to be held in the best conditions".
But Valérie Pécresse remains “unfavourable in principle to the postponement of the opening to competition” which would be “unfair for travelers: it is to deprive themselves of a better quality of service in Paris.
Competition is good for customers, ”she recalled in a reaction sent by those around her to AFP.
On the social level, IDFM has prepared "a set of social requirements unique in Europe to reassure agents and guarantee them that competition would not be to the detriment of the quality of life at work", also recalls the entourage of the president. of region.