The global COVID-19 crisis has hit the mobility sector hard. In the midst of a difficult economic backdrop, the French newspaper Le Monde interviewed Yves Crozet, economist and Research Fellow at CERRE, on the future of rail.
The SNCF, France’s national railway company, has been directly and heavily impacted by governmental guidelines that restrict mobility and incentivise teleworking. The significant drop in demand has resulted in billions of losses for the SNCF.
“Public transportation as a whole is jeopardized by this crisis. The urgency is to save it from its downward spiral.”
According to Yves Crozet, it is no longer a matter of recovery but rather a matter of rescue in order to urgently offset the incurred losses.
The economist explains that prior strategic investments must be made, such as relieving oversaturated key railway junctions. In order to regenerate, the railway network needs to regain sufficient financial means.
Reviving the railway sector correlates with European and French climate objectives for 2050. However, Yves Crozet warns that we have to do better than just pursuing a handful of isolated projects. Above all we need effective coordinated policies for the rail sector.
Read the full article in Le Monde (18 August 2020)