The agreement covers the operation of services in the TER South Region until 2023, when a new competitively-tendered contract is due to begin. An invitation to tender for the new contract will be issued next year.

After several months of negotiations, SNCF says it has agreed an ambitious plan with the Paca government, which provides “a quality service for users at the right price for the region,” with financial incentive and penalty mechanisms of up to +/-€4m to ensure good performance.

Enhancements agreed for the next four years include:

  • four TER trains per hour in the peak on the Cannes - Nice - Monaco, Marseille - Toulon, Marseille -Miramas lines later this year and on the Marseille - Aix-en-Provence route from 2022
  • acquisition of five new Alstom Régiolis trains to increase capacity and improve comfort
  • increase punctuality from 82% to 90% by 2020
  • maintenance of all TER stations in the region
  • improved co-ordination with other public transport modes
  • introduction of a new multi-modal travel card in the Var and Alpes Maritime departments in 2020, and
  • a new ‘Access TER’ service to improve accessibility for passengers with reduced mobility

There will also be an increase in staff visibility and additional checks to reduce fare evasion.

To fund these improvements, the region will provide €104m over five years. This will be facilitated by a reduction in the annual fees paid to SNCF, which will fall from €277m in 2019 to €255m in 2023.