Montpellier CAF tram impression

FRANCE: Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole has selected CAF to supply 60 trams to its local transport operator TaM, with options for 17 more bringing the total value of the order to €223·7m.

The seven-section Urbos trams will be assembled at the CAF France plant at Bagnères-de-Bigorre in the département of Hautes-Pyrénées. Deliveries are due to start in 2024, and run at two vehicles/month until 2030.

The first 30 vehicles are intended to operate on Route 1, which connects the Odysseum shopping centre with Mosson, replacing the existing Alstom Citadis vehicles which are now 22 years old and approaching life-expiry. According to the municipality, this is one of the busiest tram routes in France, carrying an average of 130 000 passengers/day.

A further 22 trams are required for use on the 16 km Route 5 connecting Lavérune and Les Bouisses with central Montpellier, Montferrier-sur-Lez and Clapiers, which is scheduled to open in 2025. This route will have an end-to-end journey time of 45 min and trams running every 6 min all day, and is projected to carry around 80 000 passengers per day.

The remaining eight in the firm order would increase TaM’s heavy maintenance reserve, ensuring a high level of reliability for the whole tram network.

The additional 17 trams are required to facilitate a general increase in frequency across the network, providing the extra capacity needed to cope with increased ridership following the gradual phasing in of free public transport for all residents by the end of 2023.

Announcing the contract award on June 20, CAF said the new trams would support an ambitious transport plan for the Montpellier area, helping to improve the quality of life in the city and address climate change.