Covid-19 and transport: the train will whistle masked

Reducing the mobility of the French is impacting transport. Indeed, the reconfination begins from Friday, October 30, 2020 and for an announced duration of one month. Thus, the projects of the month of November of many French are undergoing a cancellation. It is the means of transport that suffer the most with the cancellation of reservations… But also the drop in traffic in the various transport.

Reconfinement, transport is not yet confined

The decision to reconfine the whole of France, taken by President Emmanuel MACRON, seemed inevitable. Especially in view of the health situation in hospitals. Some caught off guard, in the middle of the All Saints’ day holiday. Holidaymakers then make their holidays a few or two days before their original date, to reassure themselves. For this reason, all SNCF, TGV and TER traffic continues for this return weekend. Thus, the New Aquitaine Region assures in a press release that all of its TERs circulate on the all Saints’ weekend as well as the following week. The aim is to facilitate returns and travel for people with valid reasons.

Transport train station TER
TER and TGV are part of the transport that continues to operate on the national network.

In addition, transport is not yet reduced. There are more users on public transport than when they first were confined last March. This is due in particular to the schools, which have remained open. Thus, the Transport Bordeaux Metropole (TBM) network ensures that 100% of tram and bus traffic is currently operating (1). The slowdown will therefore be gradual, after an initial analysis of the daily user density. Despite a decrease in the number of people using transport, it is still essential to continue to respect the barrier gestures. This is achieved by wearing the mask and using hydroalcoholic gel throughout travel.

Transport will eventually suffer the consequences of the situation

Despite a higher traffic frequency, compared to the first containment, transport will still be heavily impacted. Indeed, the favouring of telecommuting is one of the main consequences of the decline in the use of transport… But also other means of mobility. Thus, the network of electric scooters or car-sharing and shared scooters such as YUGO in Bordeaux, will be impacted, especially because of the restriction of 1 km. Indeed, during the first containment, the companies of means of mobility suffered a significant drop in turnover… But still decided to maintain their offer. This is the case of the electric scooter company Dott, which has made it free or has offered reduced rates to users.

Moreover, since the French cannot move between regions, they no longer have the possibility to go on weekends in particular. SNCF will then reduce TGV’s offerings in order to adapt to much lower demand during the month of November. In April, only 42 TGVs out of usually 700 were running every day and only 18% of the continuous traffic for TERs (2). For example, SNCF will soon introduce compensation and refund measures for various public transport subscriptions but also for subscriptions such as TGV MAX.


  1. TBM: Frequency on the TBM network: 100% of trams and buses in service!

2. SNCF: Questions and Answers – October 31, 2020

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