The City of Belgrade and the French state-owned company RATP Development today concluded an agreement on early operator assistance for the Belgrade Metro project.
Through a one-year consulting engagement, which costs EUR 944,000 including VAT, Belgrade will use the experience of RATP experts regarding proper planning, regulations, and mechanical elements so that the metro, already under construction, is properly funded. As it was said after the signing of the contract in the Parliament of Belgrade, RATP with 27,000 employees works in 15 countries of the council and annually transports one and a half billion passengers and has great experience and knowledge that it will share with Belgrade.
Mayor Aleksandar Šapić, who was present at the signing, said that until now the works were on filling, and that this year one of the depot facilities and traffic roads on Makiško polje will be started. He stated that in cooperation with the French company, without whose consulting services it was impossible to determine the dimensions of the mole machine this year, which he announced will start digging at the end of 2024 or the beginning of 2025.
Šapić assessed that so far the work on the Belgrade metro, which is a national project, is going according to the planned deadlines. He said that there are no changes to the second metro route, but the digging plans are moving in accordance with the situation found under the ground and in that context he mentioned Trg Slavija, i.e. the collectors and the premises of the National Bank of Serbia.
“I am very optimistic that this great national project will have two metro lines between 2028 and 2030,” he said. Answering the journalists’ questions about financing the construction, Šapić pointed out that both Belgrade and Serbia have to endure it, added that the finances for the project are planned, and emphasized that the metro, as the future backbone of public transport, is a necessity for Belgrade.
Signatory of the contract acting Director of JKP Belgrade Metro and Train, Andreja Mladenović, said that RATP, with its great experience and knowledge, is getting involved in time to give Belgrade a modern metro with advice during construction. He pointed out that the company cooperates with 108 cities in the world and has experience in automating trains, and explained that these are driverless trains, and said that this is also an idea for the Belgrade metro. Director of RATP Iba Feres said that the contract was signed after two years of talks, and that the company will offer Belgrade and Serbia its expertise in the field of public transport, especially regarding the automated metro.
She added that she will propose completely local solutions, tailored to the client, because every city has its own history and vision. She said that the company’s experts are now mobilizing to propose solutions that would ultimately bring excellent experiences to passengers, and announced that RATP will open its office in Belgrade.
Ambassador of France Pierre Cauchard also expressed his satisfaction with the contract, who pointed out that this once again confirms Serbia’s trust in companies from that country. He said that France will continue to resolutely support projects in Serbia related to modern transportation. He pointed out that RATP has rich experience in the business for which he was hired in Belgrade, especially in automated lines, reports Tanjug.