In the summer of 2024, the heart of world sport will beat in France and Paris for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. In order to transport the 500,000 spectators and visitors who will travel each day to the various events and the 26 Olympic venues, numerous mobility projects have been launched in which SYSTRA has played a major part.
The metro and RER, the backbone of Paris 2024
Lines 14 of the metro and line E of the RER will be the major new lines to facilitate travel to the Olympic venues throughout the Greater Paris region. From south to north, the backbone of the metro network will be line 14, which will be extended to the south towards Orly Airport and provide direct access to the north towards the Olympic Village, the Stade de France and the Aquatic Centre in Saint-Denis, as well as passing through the Arena Bercy and the centre of Paris.
SYSTRA is a key player in the project management consortium responsible for the extension to Orly, which will double the length of line 14 and add 7 new stations. Services to Orly Airport, the gateway to the Olympic Games for international travellers, will benefit from a new terminus, also under SYSTRA’s project management, with the construction of an underground station and a new car park, which will be brought into service without disrupting the use of the airport platform.
The other new feature will be the RER E, which will be extended to the west as far as Nanterre-La Folie. This express line will provide an efficient link to the La Défense Arena for the swimming and water polo events, and to Vaires-sur-Marne near Chelles-Gournay, where the nautical events will be held. Since 2013, SYSTRA has been responsible for providing project management assistance for the SNCF Réseau transport system.
SYSTRA is also involved in the eastward extension of metro line 11 which, alongside lines 14 and E, will also relieve the existing network by providing better access to the Olympic venues in the heart of Paris, including Place de la Concorde, Hôtel de Ville, Champ de Mars, the Grand Palais and Les Invalides. Access to the Porte de la Chapelle Arena, where the badminton, gymnastics and para-weightlifting events will be held, will also be facilitated by the recent extension to Aubervilliers of metro line 12, which will be inaugurated in 2022 under SYSTRA’s supervision.
A tram network that is expanding and adapting
On the surface too, the mobility offer is expanding in the run-up to the Olympics. To attend the football matches at the Parc des Princes and the tennis matches at the Roland-Garros stadium, spectators will be able to rely on the extension of the T3b tramway to Porte Dauphine, just a stone’s throw from Porte d’Auteuil.
This extension, which will come into service at the beginning of 2024, was entirely supervised by SYSTRA, the main contractor for the trackbed and the urban renovation of the façade-to-façade improvements. In addition to 3.2 km of new track from Porte d’Asnières, a direct connection to the Porte Maillot business district and several major connections with RER lines C and E and metro lines 1 and 2, this tramway will help to improve the urban environment at the entrances to Paris, with cycle lanes and grassed areas.
In addition, the entire Paris region tram network will be put to good use. For example, access to the equestrian and pentathlon sports to be held at the Château de Versailles will be facilitated by the T13 tramway, which will enter service in 2022 and in which SYSTRA has taken part as PMA for SNCF Réseau, notably for environmental monitoring and technical checks. In addition, access to the Arena Paris-Sud at Porte-de-Versailles, where the weightlifting, handball, volleyball, table tennis, goalball, boccia and para table tennis events will be held, will be direct via the T2 tramway, the extension of which was opened in 2009 under the supervision of SYSTRA.
Olympic venues accessible with public transport designed by SYSTRA
Adapting existing networks is a key transport priority for the Games. For example, access to the National Shooting Centre in Châteauroux for the shooting and para-sport events will be easy by train via Châteauroux station, which has a direct link to Paris, and where SYSTRA assisted SNCF Réseau in making the station accessible to people with disabilities. We assisted with the management of the works, which were carried out on site without interrupting traffic.
Accessibility is also an issue in Marseille, where the metro is preparing to host the football tournament and sailing events. Access to the Marina and the Stade Vélodrome will be made possible by adapting the Rond-Point du Prado, Sainte-Marguerite Dromel and Vieux-Port stations, all of which are linked to the Saint-Charles station.
Several stadiums used for football, handball and basketball have been made more accessible by public transport with the help of SYSTRA. Examples include the Lyon stadium, which has been accessible via the T3 tramway since 2016, for which we were project manager. the Nice stadium, which is accessible via the T2 tramway, which came into service in 2018, for which we were a member of the construction consortium; and the Bordeaux stadium, which is accessible via the Tram C, for which we were project manager.
Overseas, the Teahupo’o site on the island of Tahiti will host the surf and shortboard events, facing one of the most selective waves in the world. This event will be accessible via Tahiti airport, to which SYSTRA provided its expertise in project management assistance between 2020 and 2023 to support its concessioning.
The SYSTRA advantage
Working alongside Fer de France for the FerrOlympik challenge
In 2018, SYSTRA was a stakeholder in the FerrOlympik event organised by Fer de France with a view to developing the media rail transport plan for the 12,000 journalists who will be covering the 2024 Olympic Games. During a day of open innovation, SYSTRA’s Group Innovation department and several consulting and architecture experts, together with the main French players (SNCF, RATP, Alstom) and major media, took part in a competition to promote the use of urban transport. The ideas generated by these discussions, in particular the idea of guiding journalists along their route using only logos that could be understood in all languages, were then presented to the Organising Committee of the Olympic Games.
SYSTRA, a partner of the Olympics
From Italy to Australia and Brazil, the SYSTRA Group’s engineers have been called upon to help at previous Olympic Games, such as the modelling of transport demand for the Sydney Summer Olympics in 2000, the project management for line 1 of the Turin metro for the 2006 Winter Olympics, the organisation of station access for the Albertville Winter Olympics in 1992, and the preliminary studies for the Rio de Janeiro tramway which will be in service for the 2016 Summer Olympics. A particular feature of the latter is the use of an underfloor power supply for part of its length, an innovation promoted by SYSTRA for the Bordeaux tramway and deployed on the entire Dubai tramway.
Finally, the SYSTRA Group is a partner of the French Fencing Federation (FFE), which shares our values of excellence, team spirit and daring. Fencing is the most decorated French sport in the history of the Olympic Games, with 123 medals from all Olympiads combined. It was the second most decorated French sport in Tokyo with 5 medals, including 2 Olympic titles.
Photos: Paris 2024 / Florian Hulleu