Construction should get under way later this year on a 2·5 km extension of Toulouse VAL Line A, following the signing of an agreement between metro operator SMAT and Matra Transport International at the beginning of April. Running from the present terminus at Jolimont to Balma-Gramont, the extension will serve the northeast of the city.

Valued at 55m euros, the deal includes expansion of the maintenance and stabling depot at Basso-Cambo. The depot currently has space for 24 trainsets, and this is to be doubled to accommodate the 14 VAL 208 trains ordered by SMAT in 1997 to boost capacity.

Systems work on the Line A extension will begin in late 2001, with opening envisaged by June 2004 at the latest. The extension will add three stations to the 15 on the existing 10 km line, which was opened for revenue service in June 1993. SMAT plans to develop a park-and-ride hub and bus interchange at Balma-Gramont, drawing motorists from the eastern suburbs and helping to concentrate urban development on the Périole - Gramont - North Balma sector.

Matra Transport International is currently undertaking detailed design for Toulouse Line B. This 16 km line serving 20 stations would interchange with Line A at Jean Jaurès station in the city centre (MR 99 p61). Work on the project began in May 1999 and is due for completion this summer.