Poitiers (France)

Poitiers is a city of 91,400 inhabitants, located on the river Clain in west central France, 300 km southwest of Paris. The city makes respectable measures for a livable and attractive city center, having balanced use of transport modes.

Poitiers demonstrates a modal split of 65 percent individual and motorized vehicles, 10 percent public transport, 22 percent pedestrians, 1 percent bicycles and 2 percent motorbikes.

The city’s strategic approach to transport management is currently defined by the Urban Transport Plan which was passed in 2001 and which is currently being revised. The main objectives include the implementation of a new collective transport system to meet new demand; the development of alternative transport modes; and the promotion of intermodality and multimodality. The current revision includes three complementary approaches: the reorganization and management of public areas; the development of services; and support to changing travel habits and creating a modal shift towards sustainable transportation.

Good progress has been made in implementing the Urban Transport Plan. Achievements to date include innovative measures and infrastructure such as the implementation of a car-sharing scheme with vehicles running on compressed natural gas (CNG), the creation of a regional car-pooling platform, and the development of travel planning based on an online questionnaire.

Special emphasis on clean vehicles and alternative fuels has been demonstrated through the use of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in the community fleet and CNG in buses (55 percent of realised distance). Future plans include the redevelopment of the city center (the enlargement of the pedestrian area, better access management, the development of the parking system and the creation of additional alternative transport modes); the drafting of a new action plan for the Urban Transport Plan; the installation of three bus rapid transit (BRT) lines along with the restructuring of the public transport network; the construction of a bridge exclusively for pedestrians and collective transportation (BRT), with a connection to the railway station; the improvement of policy in favour of schools’ and companies’ transport plans; and the further development of the car-sharing scheme.

The city of Poitiers works on the implementation of sustainable urban transport measures in cooperation with towns that are part of the communauté urbaine, the Regional Council of Poitou-Charentes, state services, the police, the Agency for the Environment and Energy Management, taxi drivers, the French National Railway Company, the air-quality monitoring service ATMO, the public transport operator of Poitiers (VITALIS), road safety organizations, the cycling association Velocité.86, and the Council for Sustainable Development.

Summary finalized: April 13, 2010

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