Opened on March 15, 2002, the metro in Rennes is based on Siemens Transportation Systems VAL (véhicule automatique léger or light automatic vehicle) technology.
There is only one line, the 9.4-km a Line, which runs north-west to south-east from J.F. Kennedy to La Poterie via the city's SNCF railway station (served by Gares metro station), with fifteen stations, thirteen of which are underground.
The station at La Poterie and viaducts on the line were designed by Norman Foster.
The network is run at any time by at least four people at the central command post (poste de commande centralisée) situated near the Chantepie yards. 120 cameras patrol in and around the stations on the line.
Services run between 5:20 and 00:40 every day of the week, and trains come between every 3 and 7 minutes.
From end to end takes around 16 minutes, with an average train speed of 32 km/h. All stations are equipped with elevators to allow accessibility to those dependent on wheelchairs.
The system has sixteen trains, weighing 28 tonnes and 26 metres long, which run on two tracks next to each other. Each train has a capacity of 158 passengers (50 sitting and 108 standing).
In 2005, four extra trains were added, and four more will enter service at the start of 2006, leading to waiting times of only 90 seconds.
Excluding the minuscule underground network of Serfaus, Rennes is the smallest town in the world to boast a metro, with a population of just 220,000.
On average, there are 73,000 metro trips each day; this figure is expected to rise to 150,000 in coming years, leading to possible gridlock during the rush hours.
Charles de Gaulle station
In January 2005, three park-and-ride lots were set up, offering 900 places to motorists. Two more are under construction, expected to park an extra 700 by 2006.
From March 1, 2006, a card called KorriGo is required to travel the metro and the city's bus network.
The line is maintained by STAR (Société des Transports d'Agglomeration Rennais), and managed by Keolis (an SNCF group). It is staffed by approximately 100 technicians, managers, and so on.
Stations of Rennes Metro are:
- J.F. Kennedy
- Anatole France
- Charles de Gaulle
- Gares (SNCF interchange)
- Jacques Cartier
- Henri Fréville
- La Poterie