In Marseille, a free train against a polluting vehicle

The metropolis of Aix-Marseille-Provence (AMP) is voting this January 19, 2023 at the metropolitan council on its new policy regarding the low emission zone (ZFE). The latter prevented polluting vehicles from driving in the city center from September 2022. Metropolis, in partnership with the Paca region, wants to reward Crit’Air 5 or out-of-category car owners who want to part with it.

“As soon as the vehicle is sold, the owner will be given a free Full Pass for six months and time to find another vehicle”, explains Jean-Pierre Serrus, vice-president in charge of transport in the region. The “Integral Pass”, established by the region and the metropolis in 2018, costs €73 per month and provides access to TER, public transport networks and certain maritime services.

The first metropolis to prioritize the award event

With this measure, the metropolis wants to achieve two goals in the fight against climate change: a 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2035 and carbon neutrality by 2050. The national low-carbon strategy (SNBC), created by the Ministry of Environmental Transition, believes that it will be necessary ” 75% reduction in emissions by 2050 “.

Of the eleven ZFEs, Aix-Marseille is the first metropolis to prioritize the award event. “Environment never wins by punishing” Metropolis President Martine Vassal explained. ” If they propose a non-binding event, they can only approve, Yves Carra, spokesman for the Automobile Club, which is responsible for the rights of road users, agreed. We have always opposed the creation of EPZs to exclude the most dangerous from urban centers. “Marseille deserves to look for solutions.”

A more effective symbolic measure

The solution will benefit not all of the 1.9 million inhabitants of the metropolis, but only 18% of them. ” The event is intended for 314,000 residents, 172,000 workers and 42,000 students of the low emission zone. Jean-Marc Serrus analyzes. The ZFE covers only 8% of the surface of Marseille and only 0.62% of the French metropolis. The conditions of access to the integral link therefore limit the scope of the event.

Moreover, not all people who receive potential benefits are owners of a polluting car. As the establishment of the ZFEs approached, the prefectures took the opportunity to identify the motor vehicle fleet. “SOnly 4.1% of cars can no longer cycle in the ZFE due to a bad sticker, including 1.4% Crit’Air 5 and 2.7% out of category. Indicates the Bouches-du-Rhône prefecture. Only 6% of vehicles in the country can no longer move freely in cities.

“Marseille en Grand” to leave your car

Six months seems like a very short time to replace his car », analyzes Yves Carran. According to the press secretary of the car club, it will take a full year of free public transport and trains to buy a car. “We want drivers to understand that they can go out, go to work and enjoy their leisure time without a car. nuance Jean-Pierre Serrus.

All over France, however, there is anger at the ineffectiveness of TERs, and sometimes even their absence. ” We are not happy with the train proposal in the metropolis of Aix-Marseille” “La Voix de Nosterpaca” president Gilles Marcel says. According to the latter, rail is a viable alternative to automobiles only if ” a train arrives at the station at least every 30 minutes “. For now, only the line connecting Marseille to Aix-en-Provence would be viable within the metropolis.

Modernization of its public transport network

The metropolis then relies on modernizing its public transport network to convince residents to park their cars. The “Marseille en Grand” project, announced by Emmanuel Macron on September 2, 2021 and presented by the metropolis a year later, plans to multiply and modernize the transport offer there.

This “full offer” public transport “north to south”, in the words of Martine Vassal, would allow achieving the goals of combating global warming. It will cost 2 billion euros, including 256 million euros in subsidies paid by the state in 2022.

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