The snow-capped peaks of Mont-Blanc tower over the picturesque Chamonix Valley in south-eastern France. In this world-famous Alpine destination that attracts millions of visitors each year, four local communities have come together to enable solutions for better and greener mobility through environmentally-friendly public transportation. The cooperation between the Valley’s local communities and public authorities embody model engagement, and has successfully contributed to Chamonix Valley’s protection of natural areas, a shift to environmentallyfriendly actions with improved equipment, public infrastructure and tourism-related services, and increased socio-economic wellbeing.

Implemented in

  • Europe and Central Asia
  • France

Led by

  • Ministry of the Environment of France

Sustainability themes

Sector of activity
Tourism

Type of initiative
Policy Frameworks & Tools

Type of lead actor
Government / public sector

Start date
30/11/2018

Objectives

Collectively acting as the “Commaunauté de Communes” (“Community of Communes”), the local communities of the Chamonix Valley have taken an active role as the Valley’s Sustainable Mobility Organizing Authority, aiming to reduce the Valley’s road traffic and overcrowding issues during peak tourism seasons by encouraging residents and tourists to shift to public transportation as an alternative to cars. Working alongside local and regional public authorities, these communities have developed, managed and implemented plans for the diversification of mobility options in Chamonix. Their actions align with the Valley’s Local Climate and Energy Plan, approved in 2012, which encourages local communities to implement innovative measures to reduce carbon emissions.

Activities

Activities are monitored within the frame of the Committee of Transport Users, which meets twice a year to collect and review passenger requests and feedback, and the Consultative Committee on Environment and Air Quality, which monitors the implementation of the Plan on Air Quality, an integral component of the Valley’s transportation and mobility policy.

Impact and Results

(1) Revitalizing Chamonix Valley’s railway:
The revitalization of Chamonix Valley’s public transpor tation system has t wo components - the modernization of the Mont-Blanc Express railway and Montets Tunnel, and the renovation of the MontBlanc urban bus network to make it adhere to strict environmental standards. The Mont Blanc Express railway was modernized with electrical equipment and increased the frequency of its central line during rush hours. Seven partners are involved in this railway project, including the Commaunauté de Communes, the European Union, the French Rail Network (RFF), the Regional Council, the Departmental Council, Mont Blanc Tunnel and Motorway (ATMB), and the Canton of Valais.

(2) Increased bus service:
In improving the urban bus network, the Commaunauté de Communes initially went through the bidding process in 2015. The Mont-Blanc Bus Company was awarded a seven-year contract to oversee and implement the Valley’s public transportation service. The company responded positively to the mandated requirements, deploying a fleet that included six hybrid buses and electric shuttles to the city center of Chamonix every ten minutes during rush hour. It also provided daily services for residents with limited mobility options. The Mont-Blanc Bus company likewise adapted its services to the tourist seasons, deploying fi fteen lines during the peak winter season. To encourage more people to use public transport, the Communauté established free public transport fares for all residents and tourists staying more than one night. Model engagement These comprehensive measures have successfully seen 1.2 million passengers aboard trains and 2.5 million people on buses in 2017. The project aims to double the shares of public transport by 2020.