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French government and Île-de-France Mobility agree Covid-19 subsidy
French prime minister, Mr Jean Castex, and president of the Île-de-France region and Île-de-France Mobility, Ms Valérie Pécresse, agreed the memorandum of understanding on September 9, which Île-de-France Mobility says breaks the deadlock on the issue. The authority says it lost €2.6bn as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, which comprises €1bn in losses from operator payments and €1.6bn in losses from passenger revenue.
Île-de-France Mobility received a €425m advance on September 7 and will receive the remaining €700-980m by the end of December, and at the latest in early 2021.
“With the prime minister, we have managed to find a very good agreement for Ile-de-France residents, who will not have to pay the cost of the Covid crisis or suffer a reduction in supply or a halt in the investments necessary to improve daily transport,” Pécresse says.
Île-de-France Mobility will immediately resume operational funding to Paris Transport Authority (RATP) and French National Railways (SNCF), which have been suspended since July. The agreement also maintains the level of transport supplied and prevents any delays to public transport improvement projects underway, including the supply of trains, metro trains and light rail vehicles, which will secure employment in industrial sectors.
The state and Île-de-France Mobility have agreed to meet again in 2021 and 2022 to measure the final impact of the Covid-19 crisis and potentially reassess the agreement.
“The prime minister shows, through this first agreement signed with an organising authority for mobility, his concern for daily transport,” Pécresse says. “We hope that these will also represent a large part of the investments of the recovery plan in Île-de-France. The region is ready for it.”
The French state announced a €4.7bn cash injection for its railway on September 3 as part of its “Relaunch France” initiative.
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