France’s RATP Group has been awarded a contract for the operation of the metros, tramways and funiculars in the city of Lyon after a vote by the board of the region’s public transport authority Sytral Mobilités. 

RATP’s RATP Dev subsidiary will take over management of the city’s four metro lines, seven tramway lines, two funicular railway lines, and the 13km Rhônexpress airport link from 1 January 2025 until 2034. 

The Parisian company will replace fellow French transportation company Keolis as the operator of the networks after Sytral voted to separate its metro and tram networks from its bus and trolleybus services, controlled by public transport agency TCL (Transports en Commun Lyonnais), with Keolis retaining control of the latter road networks. 

RATP Dev CEO Hiba Farès said: “We are honoured to earn the trust of SYTRAL Mobilités. We will support our client in the implementation of an ambitious transport policy, one that serves development needs while taking social and environmental considerations into account. 

“Alongside the employees of the TCL network, we will provide recognized expertise in metro and tramway systems, with the goal of making SYTRAL Mobilités’ vision for the Lyon metropolitan area and territories and its residents a reality.” 

In addition to the operation of the network, RATP will also manage the maintenance and security of the network infrastructure as well as maintenance of the rolling stock, which includes 102 metro trains, 107 tramways, and six trains on the airport link. 

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From June 2025 the company will also manage the operation of a new river ferry shuttle service in partnership with local boat hire company Yachts de Lyon. 

While Keolis had also offered to retain control of the tramway, train, and metro services, Sytral said that the “overall cost of the contract” had swayed its decision to choose RATP, despite receiving two equivalent technical offers. 

Bruno Bernard, President of the Lyon metropolitan area and Sytral, said: “This selection contributes to bringing the TCL network into a new era; an era where collaboration between two globally recognized operators will undoubtedly serve the quality and improvement of the public service provided to users of the TCL network.” 

Alongside its operations in France, RATP is also responsible for public transport networks in Sydney, Australia, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and Doha, Qatar, and is currently in the process of participating in a joint bid for new rail services between Québec City and Toronto in Canada.