Praxitele: the missing link

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe


The Praxitele project has been developed by a consortium of industrial companies formed by CGEA ( a public transit operato0, Renault, EDF, Thomson CSF Detexis (ex Dassault Electronic) joined with the two French public research institutes : the Institut National de Recherche sur les Transports et leur S~curit6 (INRETS) and the Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et Automatismes (INRIA). They developed the concept of invidual public transport. Praxitele is a transportation system based on a fleet of electric cars available in self-service mode in a limited area. These cars are equipped with electronic means for control and fleet management. Issued from the co-operation between industrial companies and public research institutes since 1991 , Praxitele is an intelligent solution , using innovative technology, for the development of sustainable transportation in cities. This new service is focused on trips and time where the demand is low and where public transport does not offer good quality service. Its utilisation is restricted to local areas from several hundred meters to several kilometres in length. Its operation started in the high-tech city of Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, near Paris at the end of 1997 with 48 electric vehicles from Renault. Praxitele is aimed at regular, recurrent users. The service was opened to spontaneous customers who register with the service, and the service is not free even though the applied fares are still preferential. After a six month period of operational adjustment, the service was proposed for self service ; used with 48 cars, 14 stations, 24h/24, 7 days a week. Praxitele may be the missing link between public mass transportation, very efficient but not very flexible, and the private automobile which offers total freedom but at a high cost for the user, and furthermore for the society. Then, Praxitele's experimentation aims at showing the social and economic interest of a new system for city transport. Some tasks of the assessment have been more particularely driven by the two following entities : The INRETS is the French National Institute for Transport and Safety Research. It organises, executes and assesses technological research and development concerned with the improvement of the means and systems of transport and traffic from technical, economic and social viewpoints. The Syndicat des Transport Parisiens (STP) is the Public Transport Organising Authority. The agency, responsible for organising and co-ordinating the sector of the public transit system (for travellers) in the region of Ile-de-France is a government entity created in 1959. The STP's responsibility is huge, dealing with movements generated by a population of nearly 11 million people. Projecting for the future is one of the major concerns of the STP. Indeed, the complexity of urban transportation systems requires planing today for tomorrow's development. This is why the STP is actively involved in conducting transport studies and projects in close collaboration with State, Region, Departments, transportation companies and among various other partners.


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