The Business of Mobility: Jean-Baptiste Hamonic

Jean-Baptiste Hamonic outlines Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines' (SQY) efforts to enhance mobility with a new bus network, solar-powered charging stations, car-sharing, and innovative transport solutions, focusing on sustainable transport and preparing for the 2024 Olympic Games.

Jean-Baptiste Hamonic (vice-president of transport in the agglomeration of Saint-Quentin en-Yvelines) 

The agglomeration of Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (SQY) is located in the outer suburbs of the Île-de France (Paris Region), about 25 kilometers south-west from Paris. SQY hosts nearly 230,000 inhabitants  and more than 145,000 jobs for 17 000 companies. Daily commuting represents a great challenge for  the transport system as 70% of employees live outside the territory and 60% of SQY inhabitants work  outside SQY. Mobility is therefore a sensitive issue in order to guarantee the residential and economic attractiveness of the whole territory. The agglomeration offers a lot of mobility services to residents,  employees, students and visitors.  

In January 2023, the operator of your bus network changed, causing some modifications. Can you  detail them for us?  

Since January 2023, a new Public Service Delegation led by Île-de-France Mobilités, the PTA for Paris  Region, has been operated by Francilité SQY for the bus network of Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (which  represents 50 out of the 90 lines related to the territory of SQY). Several services, previously operated  by SQY, were integrated in this contract thanks to our ongoing exchanges by Ile-de-France Mobilités :  the Vélostation of SQY, which offers bike rental, parks and repair, and the mobility agency which  provides information and services for mobility.  

It was a challenge for all of us to make the change unnoticeable from the customer’s point of view. For  example, the operator did a great job with the migration of some lines from a bus depot to another,  which was made during the night and had no impact for the daily service. The phone number of the  mobility agency remained the same, but of course we had to make the previous well-known mark  “Sqybus” disappear, which may be the only change perceived by the customers, with the exception of  the new services integrated in the PSD. 

First of all, we were able to increase the bus offer on some lines like the 401 or the 44, which are very  long and represent a lot of kilometers added to our network.  

Also, a new service (for SQY, it is already operational in other parts of Paris Region) will be effective  starting from January 1st, 2024 in the Plaisir-Grignon area, called “evening buses”. It is an on-demand  transportation : the customer can ride in only at the Plaisir-Grignon station, tells the driver where he  wants to stop, he can choose all the regular stops of a pre-defined area. So the route of the “evening  buses” can be different depending from the demand. The “evening buses” take the place of the regular  bus lines between 10 p.m. and midnight when demand is lower. 

And finally, the mobility agency with the vélostation is complemented by a mobile agency. 

So Ile de France Mobilités has integrated the Mobility Agency in the new contract. Can you introduce  it? 

The information point for users is called the mobility agency. It is located next to SQY-Montigny railway  station, which is by far the main station of SQY. It provides information about all the mobility services  available in the territory, i.e. the bus network, the Vélostation which allows you to rent a bike, repair  your personal bicycle and to reserve parking in secure lockers, the car parks located near the railway  stations and the self-service e-scooter service. 

Also, so that all residents have the same information and can be provided by the services, a mobile  agency is deployed in our territory. It travels throughout all municipalities at strategic locations 

(stations, markets, shopping centers, etc.) thanks to a trailer, giving the same services as the Mobility  Agency and the Vélostation.  

What about your actions on mobilty by cars? 

As you know, SQY is not located in the center of Paris Region, and was mostly built during late seventies  where everything was planned around the displacements by car. So car is a very efficient mode in SQY  and we still consider it as part of the attractivity of SQY. But we work on decabonization and a change  in the uses of the mode.  

That is why SQY has implemented a service, Start SQY, with around sixty charging stations throughout  our territory. The charging stations can be unlocked with the badge of a compatible mobility operator  or by contactless bank card. By 2024, a complete network of the territory will be created with more  than 100 charging points. Other phases will also be planned. Several types of terminals will be  available: standard up to 22kWh, express up to 50kWh, boost up to 150 kWh. The service is already  successful for its first year : nearly 38 sessions per month each for the more than 55 public charging  points. On average, the price of a 50km full tank is 3,30 euros. Super chargers are also planned to be  deployed in SQY. 

Also, in 2020, the SQY Share experiment carried out by a few companies and the SQY Climate and  Energy Club consists in an inter-company car sharing service, making it possible to optimize the vehicle  fleet. Thus, more than 6 vehicles (electric and hybrid) spread over 2 stations are made available to 4  companies. A general public car-sharing experiment is currently being considered. 

Also, in relation with private companies and with public actors, SQY supported carsharing policies for  daily commuters.  

The slogan of your city is “SQY land of innovations”. What are your future projects in terms of  mobility? 

In 2024, in partnership with Ile de France Mobilités, a consortium with Keolis, Urbanloop and SQY will  implement an innovative guided transport service operated by capsules on railways. The capacity of  each capsule is 2 people. This transport can reach a commercial speed of 40 to 60 km/h, and has broken  the world record for the lowest energy consumption per kilometer. 

With the support of France 2030 program, this innovative transport will be deployed on a 2km loop to  serve the Olympic Games fan zone on the Leisure Center in Trappes. Two stations are also present on  the route: one located in intermodality with bus and cars next to the entrance car park of the Leisure  Center and another station near the educational farm and the Canardières shelter. 

For SQY, the solution is interesting in terms of performance (competitivity with cars), in terms of low  energy consumption and rapidity of implementation.  

It is very important for us to try innovative solutions that can address the needs of our inhabitants,  employees or visitors, by experimenting and evaluating them to see if the promises are fulfilled. 

In 2024, SQY will receive 5 Olympic Games events including track cycling, BMX, golf and mountain  biking. Are you ready to host an event of this magnitude in terms of mobility? 

The SQY agglomeration will be in the spotlight thanks to the various Olympic events taking place in the  region. SQY has fully invested in the success of these Olympic Games, in particular by being involved 

at the side of IDFM and Paris 2024 in the management of transport for spectators. SQY is in charge of implementing the bus stations for spectator shuttles from the stations to the Olympic sites; 

The spectators could also use our daily services like the e-scooter service. In addition, we will launch a  self-service bicycle near the Olympic sites in order to incite active modes. 

SQY is in fact a land of bike and has realized near to 440 km of bike lanes to be ready for the Olympic  Games. All of this roadwork results from the cycle master plan which was voted on in 2021.

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