Grand Dossier: La LGV Bordeaux-Paris, from fantasy to reality

Almost a year has passed since the great Parisian wave promised by the opening of the LGV Paris-Bordeaux. Substantial investments for a slightly shorter route, to allow a fluid and intense circulation between the two cities, opening up Bordeaux, opening it a little more to the world, and above all, intended to stimulate the Bordeaux economy by a strengthened attractiveness.

Beyond the effervescence of such implementation, has the positive dynamic already been realized in reality? Does the supposed entrepreneurial spirit of the capital, driven by facilitated transport, now set up a reciprocal dynamic, or is it an inconclusive pendulum movement?

Admittedly, the facilities are multiplying, the announcements of the transfer of seats, new job openings… The media spotlight, however, today poses the seeds of a slow economic and social transformation whose full effects are not yet measured.

A revolution in infrastructure and mentalities

The establishment of the LGV is not the first stone of a fairly recent entrepreneurial movement from the Capital to Bordeaux. A few years ago, many entrepreneurs chose to settle in the heart of the Bordeaux economy, even though its economic attractiveness was not obvious.

Thus Tiana CASTELNAU, graphic facilitator, left a large Parisian group, where she worked as a graphic studio manager, in 2013 to launch her business, popularizing the “Mind Mapping”, inspired by Tony BUZAN, an Anglo-Saxon method aimed in particular at putting in images and synthesis the fruit of long corporate meetings…

After several years, it now seems to have made a place for itself within the Bordeaux ecosystem, even if, at the start, it recognizes that Bordeaux is a relatively complex market, booming, where it takes time to be identified.

Mathieu BACQUIN, founder of SELF-INNOV, who also aims to democratize access to innovation financing for SMEs, and above all, to innovation consulting, thanks to a tool developed to measure, after a long experience in a Parisian firm.

If Paris carries with it the breath of innovation, Parisian entrepreneurs often choose to germinate their ideas within Bordeaux.

The desire to undertake is something I have had in me for a long time but it is an adventure that requires a lot of skills. So I started by making the sponge to acquire skills and get started.

The implementation of the LGV thus seems to be realizing a movement started a few years ago for French entrepreneurs, choosing to “attack the market” in Bordeaux, although difficult to access, rather than to grow certainly faster, but anonymously, within the capital.

A change in mentality that partly explains the expected “boom” of this infrastructure deployment. In a January 2018 press release, LISEA, a subsidiary of the VINCI Group and concessionaire of the Tours-Bordeaux section, estimates that the LGV SEA now represents the “backbone” of New Aquitaine, with nearly 3 million passengers and 80 TGVs per day in the first six months of its commissioning.

“The commercial and technical success of the line over the first six months of operation is a great pride for all the teams. Our ambition: […] to be an innovative player that contributes to the modernization of the French rail system. Hervé le Caignec, President of LISEA

This is enough to reassure the Group in view of the 7.8 billion euros of funding implemented for its implementation.

Renaud LAGRAVE, Vice President New Aquitaine, vision of the LGV in Bordeaux

Grand Dossier: LGV Bordeaux Paris Bordeaux Business

“Don’t hesitate to be accompanied”

Since January 2015, Renaud LAGRAVE has held the position of Vice President of the New Aquitaine Region, in charge of infrastructure, transport and mobility. In addition, he was Vice President in charge of Tourism from 2010 to 2015, President of the Aquitain Coastal GIP, he is also President of the Regional Natural Park of the Landes of Biscay.

Mobility at the heart of the Greater Region

Its main mission is to oversee all regional issues relating to infrastructure and mobility, especially around rail issues, intercity transport, port and airport transport, such as the Port of Bayonne, Limoges Airport… He also coordinates four elected officials on specific missions, such as J. HEMON, in charge of TER-related files, W. JACQUIALLARD, for stations, C. CHATUS for road transport and M.BERGE for ports and airports. Other teams are operating throughout the region.

In recent months, issues related to the transfer of intercity transport, the renewal of agreements with SNCF for the management of TERs have been highlighted, and the settlement of airport interventions in the Region.

For Renaud LAGRAVE, in view of his findings, there is really an economic dynamism due to the implementation of the LGV, if only in view of the orders made by SNCF during the works. Over the past few months, it has seen a 75% increase in the number of visitors to the Saint-Jean Station. In addition, many head offices are being considered in view of an upcoming move to Bordeaux.

Initially, however, the LGV objectives were not focused on the Bordeaux economy, or the opening of the New Aquitaine Region. Thus the dynamics were on a wider scale, the idea being to have a European axis passing through New Aquitaine, echoing the Frankfurt-Madrid axis. Bordeaux was somewhat forgotten about the railway, and today it is a daily train for the passengers who work, especially on the Bordeaux axes – Poitiers, Bordeaux – Angoulême, Bordeaux – Paris.

In view of the competition from other means of transport, the LGV has been able to induce a dizzying fall on the Paris-Orly axis (-70%), however at European or international level, Bordeaux is an airport that is doing well. In terms of freight, a large number of lines have been closed, including Agen, Auch, Mont de Marsan, Tarbes…

Investments in the service of rail

Since the resumption of the operation of the region’s managed trains in 2002, more than 12 million have been invested on the network by SNCF, 14 million euros by New Aquitaine for freight lines – even if this investment is not within its jurisdiction.

Today, Renaud LAGRAVE estimates that it would take one billion 200 million to completely renovate the rail network of New Aquitaine. Initially, for the period 2015 -2020, 450 million works are planned on the entire rail network, thanks to an inter-regional plan contract between the State, the Region and SNCF.

However, he is concerned about the impact on rail transport of the future mobility law, which foresees a rail motorway project between Belgium and the Basque Country. When we know that in view of the current traffic of the A63, we can see the same level of fine particles as in the Ile-de-France region. As freight is stalled due to the lack of a robust and efficient network, little change is expected. Especially since additional investments on the part of the State seem unlikely, considering that SNCF’s 35 billion debt has been taken over. It is difficult to project a reliable and complete network in the medium term.

A year later, according to Renaud LAGRAVE, the impact of the LGV allows us to project ourselves on the development axis project: Spain. A ministerial project is also expected to be announced at the beginning of the year on the subject, knowing that the Spaniards have started work.

The theme of transport highlights a “necessary cross-cutting” and a “common strategy”, as R. LAGRAVE points out. The objectives are now, on a more precise network, “to adapt the transport offer to the needs of mobility”, to “develop services to facilitate and optimize mobility”, to “mesh the territory through a renewed, developed and efficient network of infrastructures”, to “consolidate a strategic vision and adapt governance” and finally to “spread the mobility of tomorrow to succeed in the ecological transition”.

This vision is finally part of an economic and social transformation whose effects are still to be discovered, with bordeaux Metropole’s ambitions for Goal 2050: nearly 50,000 housing units already built, an LGV that drains part of the professional population and contributes to the installation of head offices, such as Thalès, and, correspondingly, a global reflection on road infrastructure , and especially freight, which are suffering somewhat this flood, on the horizon of a Greater Bordeaux of two million inhabitants, a change of scale bringing as much hope as fears for the well-being of Bordeaux.

Marie-Pascale BALLET, OMUM, is originally from Paris. After graduating with a Master of Life Sciences at the Paris-Grignon National Agricultural Institute, she left the capital in 2010, beginning her entrepreneurial journey by moving to Bordeaux.In order to establish herself in the Bordeaux cosmetics sector, she chose to join the Entrepreneurship Network, from which she graduated Laureate in 2012, which allowed her to benefit from a tailored accompaniment. The Entrepreneurship Network allows companies to be accompanied by other entrepreneurs, who will pass on the keys to success while sharing their passion for entrepreneurship, and then these winning companies will in turn mentor other teams. Thanks to this experience, Marie-Pascale has received all the advice to take off and launch herself in optimal conditions on the national market.

These Parisian entrepreneurs who settle in Bordeaux – The example of Marie-Pascale BALLET, OMUM.
Key figures LGV Bordeaux Business

A dynamic territory, an economic challenge

Gwendoline CAZENAVE, SNCF, between communication and coaching

Gwendoline CAZENAVE has been the Director of TGV Atlantic for the past two years, a position a few months before the lines are put into service. Its responsibility is the two lines Bordeaux and Brittany. With a financial background, having held numerous positions in business and managerial functions, his goal is ambitious: to carry out the implementation of two hundred TGV trains a day, from Paris to all destinations on the Atlantic coast, from Saint-Malo to Toulouse, via Brest, La Baule, Pau…

Today, 5000 employees are in charge of this smooth operation, in all the trades of the station, the train, the maintenance, with in addition a substantial work upstream on the construction of the service: timetables, fares, frequencies…

Missions, a goal

For Gwendoline CAZENAVE, her mission is plural: to supervise and ensure that the smooth running is accompanied by good communication with the commercial network and institutional relations, so that everyone measures the issues and is aware of the role to be played. She works closely with the operational directors of the South-West, Brittany, the Loire Region and Paris, in particular with the Marketing Sales Directorate.

For Gwendoline CAZENAVE, the aim is to increase mobility between major metropolises, including a market that is either not travelling or travelling by car, currently the most competitive mode of transport from SNCF’s point of view. Today, the train is not yet an immediate reflex.

What are the announced LGV objectives today? For customers, it is a matter of travelling faster (2 hours between Paris and Bordeaux), travelling more (with 33 round trips per day), travelling more (with a special two-level train, for more than 35,000 seats per day).

In view of the pricing policy, a Bordeaux -Paris en Ouigo makes it possible to obtain a very accessible offer. While more than 40 million passengers travel on the Atlantic coast, the largest traffic is on the Paris-Bordeaux axis, in both directions, 5 million customers, 50% more than before.

With the LGV, one of the main areas of development still in place, Gwendoline CAZENAVE aims to continue growth, always on an extremely strong growth trend in traffic.

Attention is also paid to the increase in customer satisfaction (value for money, train comfort, on-board services…). Now, with the product policy developed on the train, SNCF has managed to capture market share in all modes of transport, despite the proliferation of competitors (bus, carpooling…), in sharp expansion.

Since its launch in July 2017, the High Speed Line between Bordeaux and Paris has brought the neo-Aquitaine metropolis closer to the country’s capital. In 2:04, it is possible to make this journey at more than competitive prices, which has not failed to attract many more travelers. It is with this in mind that Bordeaux station has begun its transformation, to accommodate a greater number of passengers while guaranteeing their comfort.

What are the announced LGV objectives today? For customers, it is a matter of travelling faster (2 hours between Paris and Bordeaux), travelling more (with 33 round trips per day), travelling more (with a special two-level train, for more than 35,000 seats per day).

In view of the pricing policy, a Bordeaux -Paris en Ouigo makes it possible to obtain a very accessible offer. While more than 40 million passengers travel on the Atlantic coast, the largest traffic is on the Paris-Bordeaux axis, in both directions, 5 million customers, 50% more than before.

In terms of customer typology, the LGV attracts twice as many business travellers. The number of “Young” subscriptions has also doubled. The Bordeaux-Paris axis is now the third busiest line in France. At the same time, the customer satisfaction rate increased by 7 points after the launch, accompanied by new frequencies, new schedules, more comfort of the new trains incorporating wifi on board, in particular.

In addition, Ouigo’s new product offering with the Pros offer meets the needs and expectations of each category of travellers.

This new offer is now well in line with their customer satisfaction objectives. First tested on the Bordeaux-Paris axis, it has increased the train occupancy rate to 100%, while making the High Speed accessible to as many people as possible, with a significant increase in leisure customers.

In addition, the TGV Pro offer is now accompanied by Salons Grands Voyageurs in Montparnasse and Bordeaux, which they have completely redecorated, with a focus on the “little pluses”: coffee and newspapers offered on site. This is in order to make business travel more enjoyable and to use this time wisely.

Among the new offers in testing at the beginning of June 2018, the “smart round trip”, which allows, even at the last minute, to get interesting prices for short stays, such as the time of a weekend.

For Gwendoline CAZENAVE, the aim is to increase mobility between major metropolises, including a market that is either not travelling or travelling by car, currently the most competitive mode of transport from SNCF’s point of view. Today, the train is not yet an immediate reflex.

With the LGV, one of the main areas of development still in place, Gwendoline CAZENAVE aims to continue growth, always on an extremely strong growth trend in traffic.

Attention is also paid to the increase in customer satisfaction (value for money, train comfort, on-board services…). Now, with the product policy developed on the train, SNCF has managed to capture market share in all modes of transport, despite the proliferation of competitors (bus, carpooling…), in sharp expansion.

In addition, the development of business activities follows the ease of mobility. It must be said that Bordeaux has a real urbanization project: transport, greenery, fewer vehicles… The impact of the LGV is already being felt because it is part of a real project of the Metropole, a global and collective subject of a territory.

Cédric FOURTEAU is the co-founder and partner of the real estate agency ATELIERS LOFTS and ASSOCIES (Bordeaux – Arcachon – Biarritz – Paris).

Marked by the values the positioning of Nicolas LIBERT, founder of the first real estate agency specializing in the sale of lofts, architectural workshops and contemporary houses in France, based in Paris, Cédric FOURTEAU takes ties with him in order to propose a collaboration. For four years, Cédric developed on Paris ATELIERS LOFTS and ASSOCIÉS, before significantly driving the brand by becoming a founding partner of several agencies in the province. In 2006, he moved to Bordeaux to open the first Bordeaux branch.

Why Bordeaux? The group knows that the region is enjoying increasing dynamism and is rather optimistic about future transactions, despite the rise in real estate prices per sq m on the Bordeaux and Arcachonnais sector.

At the heart of Bordeaux’s economy, what is certain is that: “Those who want to move things forward have their place.”

Bernard UTHURRY, Vice-President of the New Aquitaine Regional Council

Bernard Uthurry New Aquitaine Bordeaux Business

Bernard Uthurry is the current Vice-President of the New Aquitaine Regional Council in charge of economic development and the digital economy. Former rugby player Bernard UTHURRY was also the Mayor of Oloron-Sainte-Marie from 2008 to 2014. Since 2015, he has also been in charge of economic development in the New Aquitaine Region, including the digital economy, as Vice-President, alongside Alain ROUSSET.

He coordinates a dedicated team, with Philippe NAUCHE, in charge of Economic Intelligence, Anne Laure BEDU for Innovation, Mathieu HAZOUARD, in charge of the land development and the deployment of fiber in the territory as well as the digital transformation of companies, Jonathan MUNOZ, for the Export and Internationalization of Companies, and Francis WILSIUS, in charge of the support of companies in difficulty , industrial performance and the acceleration of companies (SMEs and ETI), particularly in relation to the Factory of the Future initiative.

Bringing cities closer together, breaking distances

According to Bernard UTHURRY, the LGV has brought Bordeaux very close to Paris, of course, but also the other cities, such as Pau, Bayonne, which benefit from this impulse. The aim is to balance the Territory so that it is not only Bordeaux, because of its central position, which enjoys all the economic momentum, but also has a positive impact on all the cities of the New Aquitaine Region, in order to maintain and grow the economic development of the whole territory.

In addition, the growth of the LGV is part of environmental issues. Indeed, it should be noted that the Bayonne/Bordeaux axis produces three times more greenhouse gases than the European average. The weight of traffic cars and trucks account for 47% of greenhouse gas emissions on the Bordeaux Bayonne axis (compared to 23% in Europe). In particular, the train aims to reduce this rate by replacing the car.

The impact of greenhouse gas emissions contributes to climate change, and impacts vine cultivation and maize cultivation. According to recent studies, by 2030-2050, the Region could experience temperatures around those of southern Spain. In response, some farmers and winemakers are thinking about moving further north.

To date, the construction of dedicated freight lanes is not envisaged, especially as SNCF had to rule out the project for cost reasons. A discussion is under way with the Basque Country to consider a dedicated path, setting up a real “euroregion” between the French and Spanish Basque Country. Indeed, between France and Spain, freight accounts for only 3% of traffic, while between France and Italy, it is around 25%.

For Bernard UTHURRY, the LGV is part of a global dynamic, from the point of view of all the players with whom he regularly talks: Invest In Bordeaux, Bordeaux Euratlantique, Bègles? Floirac, Thales… If Paris retains its magnetism, the dynamic is real, as evidenced by the thirty companies accompanied at the VivaTech Show, in particular.

Beyond the LGV, the Region is committed to supporting training and research, both of which generate employment, in a global investment approach at the heart of innovation. ADI in particular works closely with the International Chamber of Commerce.

The aim is to develop ETIs (250 to 5000 employees) internationally, in order to, in turn, develop the local economy. New Aquitaine is a very economically diverse region: sea, agriculture, tourism, industries… Two gateways are thus possible: support for companies to performance, as well as economic development for local employment.

With the LGV, these objectives resonate because the South-West of France was the last region not to have access to an LGV, which should be deployed to Spain, Portugal, to get closer to the African coast. Thus, the prospects for the development of the territory can be revealed through the ability of the region to unite a club of ETIs, some forty to date, which are intended to be self-sufficient for research and development, while relying on a network of local subcontractors, with a significant impact.

To date, the Factory of the Future scheme brings together more than four hundred member companies, with the ambition that two hundred more companies will join the project by 2020. From ten employees, a company can apply, subject to having an innovative project to support, in order to be able, in particular, to accept technological recommendations.

Beyond this joint impulse, the LGV has a direct impact on the tourism expansion of Bordeaux.

The meteoric rise of Bordeaux tourism, an expected effect of the LGV

The 2017 figures prove it: New Aquitaine is now the number one destination for French tourists, with nearly 25 million French people welcomed last year on our territory, or 12.1% of the market share in terms of overnight stays, mainly in camping, on the coast and in rural areas, and this, before Occitanie or Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur.

In May 2018, in particular, in the hotel industry, the clientele is mainly French, at 75.5%, followed by Spain (5.2), Germany (4.3%), the United Kingdom (3.6%) and the United States (2.6%).

The clientele is also almost evenly divided between business and tourism customers.

The Regional Tourism Committee of New Aquitaine is a private law association, Law 1901, whose legal framework was defined mainly in 1985, and adjusted with the NOTRe Act.

“New Aquitaine is for the first time in its history the first holiday destination for French tourists. In particular, we owe this to the promotional actions that the CRT NA is carrying out with its partners. Our goal now is to reach the podium of the most popular regional destinations for international tourists

Régine MARCHAND, Michel DURRIEU, Regional Tourism Committee of New Aquitaine

CIVB tourism portrait Bordeaux Business

Régine MARCHAND is the President of the Regional Tourism Committee of New Aquitaine. She first worked in the private sector, as an electronics technician at CIRMA, a subsidiary of CEGELEC specializing in on-board wired cables, a subcontractor of EADS. General secretary of the Metallurgy Union in Gironde, she has also been a prud’homale councillor for more than twenty years, having her entire career at heart to defend employees. Installed in the 1980s on Mérignac, Régine MARCHAND joined the municipal team as deputy mayor, since 1985. Regional advisor since 2004 in the team of Alain ROUSSET, She has been President of CRT Aquitaine since 2010, she became President of the merger of the three CRTs of the new territory of the New Aquitaine Region, in 2016.

Tourism and LGV, a promotion for the New Aquitaine region

It is mainly a mission, entirely voluntary, of observing and promoting the territory, in all markets, especially internationally, with a partial delegation of the Region, such as the definition of the Regional Tourism Scheme. The TRC’s funding is provided mainly through regional grants, as well as delegated missions and private funding.

The CRT Nouvelle-Aquitaine is thus a formidable tool for understanding the tourism market, with a field view in particular of the impact that the LGV has had on the tourism impulse of the region.

According to Michel DURRIEU, Director-General of the CRT, the impact of the LGV is in particular a highlight of the Region, favouring tourism flows, but also foreign investment in French tourism, which is relatively little present, which has recently begun to finance tourism infrastructure in a sustainable way.

Michel DURRIEU has both a macro and an international vision of the economic impulse, especially in terms of tourism, of the territory. After ten years with New Frontiers to develop space and online marketing, eleven years at Carson Travel, he joined the Foreign Ministry team in charge of tourism, with Laurent FABIUS, in order to develop the potential of French tourism internationally. With a strategic vision, he participates in the global mission of valuing French skills and attractiveness.

Born in Pau, with many ties to the Basque Country, Michel DURRIEU wanted to join the territory of New Aquitaine, a region with strong territorial brands, including international.

Michel Durieu and Régine Marchand - CTR Bordeaux Business

France internationally

Its main mission within the CRT is to bring together the actors of the private and institutional sector in order to develop a common strategy, and implement it in real time, measuring the impact of actions, while contributing to the structuring of the French tourism offer in relation to this strategy. By 2020, more than one hundred million foreign tourists are expected, with a potential of more than one hundred billion in revenue…

In particular, the LGV is one of the tools contributing to this growth, an impetus to be perpetuated, notably with the development of Digital and media platforms to highlight the territory, its major brands, and repatriate flows to destination merchant sites. Communication on social networks also allows for a significant multilingual “field” rise.

France remains the world’s number one destination in terms of the number of tourists welcomed annually. A dynamic that the New Aquitaine Region wants to take advantage of, with many investments. The goal is to reach 32 million tourists by 2020. An impact in terms of income, around 16 billion, but also jobs, with a projection of 140,000 jobs also by 2020.

While the LGV helps to open up Bordeaux and the surrounding cities, it must also enable the development of tourism inland. A regional will accompanied by an investment policy linked to infrastructure (accommodation capacity, transport, etc.). Finally, according to Michel DURRIEU, this expansion must carry the values of sustainable tourism, be respectful of the environments and populations.

The commissioning of the LGV has concentrated all fantasies of economic deployment. A year later, the dynamics cannot be denied. Promoting the tourism impulse at first sight, it also concentrates an entrepreneurial movement of Parisian origin initiated a few years ago, whose effects should be felt a little more in the beginning of 2018.

The symbolic enhanced attractiveness echoes the multiple installations of national structures. A focus that exists thanks to the joint action of all the actors of the territory in order to make the New Aquitaine Region, not only a large Region, but the most dynamic French Region.

The theme of transport highlights a “necessary cross-cutting” and a “common strategy”, as R. LAGRAVE points out. The objectives are now, on a more precise network, “to adapt the transport offer to the needs of mobility”, to “develop services to facilitate and optimize mobility”, to “mesh the territory through a renewed, developed and efficient network of infrastructures”, to “consolidate a strategic vision and adapt governance” and finally to “spread the mobility of tomorrow to succeed in the ecological transition”.

This vision is finally part of an economic and social transformation whose effects are still to be discovered, with bordeaux Metropole’s ambitions for Goal 2050: nearly 50,000 housing units already built, an LGV that drains part of the professional population and contributes to the installation of head offices, such as Thalès, and, correspondingly, a global reflection on road infrastructure , and especially freight, which are suffering somewhat this flood, on the horizon of a Greater Bordeaux of two million inhabitants, a change of scale bringing as much hope as fears for the well-being of Bordeaux.

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