Liberalisation of regular bus and coach lines cabotage in France
French Transport Minister, Thierry MARIANI, has authorised cabotage operations on 230 new interregional coach lines crossing France within the framework of international journeys – thus reducing the number of empty seats while offering flexible and affordable services. As these routes can now be used by French and European road transport companies that are entitled to carry out international services, Spanish and Portuguese coach operators have already expressed a strong interest in doping so.
The Minister’s decision is in line with the framework of new European legislation that opens domestic road links to competition through cabotage on links whose principal goal remains international passenger transport between European Union Member states.
In July 2011, Eurolines had launched six new interregional connexions between Paris and Western France, served in the framework of international lines, such as Rennes-Paris-Prague and Nantes-Paris-Prague:
The ORTF legislation dating December 2009 authorises cabotage (stops) along international coach lines on the condition that no more than 50% of passengers are embarked on the French territory. Concretely, the Eurolines coach connecting Paris to Liege (Belgium) can now board passengers to/from Valenciennes where it may stop. A Paris-Valenciennes ticket will cost you 30 euros (vs. 38 to 62.90 by train).
Greener, more affordable, flexible: this Smart Move of the French Government has generated interest from coach operators in Spain and Portugal. Over time, some 500 interregional connexions by coach could be open in France under international cabotage operations .