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Urban guided transport in France

The “guided transport” terms mean public passenger transport systems whereby the vehicles follow a determined trajectory for all or part of their journey, with the exception of those which circulate exclusively on the national rail network.
These are, therefore, subways, trams, railways providing outside the national rail network a regular service or tourist journeys, and intermediate systems such as buses or trolley buses guided by rail or any other non-physical system (optical or magnetic guidance).
The technical and safety inspection of these guided transport systems is the task of the Ministry of Transport whose objectives are defined in the modified internal transport orientation law (LOTI) of December 30, 1982 (article n° 9, second line) :
« The Ministry of Transport defines the safety emergency organisation and technical inspection rules which apply to transport. It monitors their implementation and controls their application ».

French regulation

Facing this development of tram on rails as well as on tyres, the Ministry of Transport has modernised the procedure for the authorisation and organisation of inspection.
The law governing transport system safety and the decree governing guided transport system safety have introduced three fundamental principles:
-  demonstration of safety of the guided transport systems projects in accordance with a structure, and staged approach in three stages,
-  the application of « GAME » method for the demonstration of the safety level,
-  follow-up of safety level over time

At the same time, the Ministry of Transport has undertaken the re-organisation of its offices in charge of the inspection of safety.
This two-tier organisation, according to its competence levels, enables him to assume its prerogatives in promoting and in accompanying the improvement in the safety of guided transport systems.

Facts and figures
Through the impulse given by the organising transport authorities, France is experiencing renewed interest in trams as a collective urban transport mode. There are now 38 tram lines in service, 7 under construction and 16 planned.