Passionate about railways, the former Prime Minister will take over the management of the company at the end of November, which is facing worrying difficulties.
A former prime minister at the head of the RATP. This Wednesday, Jean Castex was officially appointed Railway Company CEO, during the Council of Ministers. The one who arrived in mid-August at the Infrastructure Financing Agency (Afit) therefore takes over from Catherine Guillouard, who left the company in mid-September for personal reasons.
“It is a great honor to join the RATP today“, reacted the main interested party in a press release issued by the company. The former elected representative of Prades said to himself “fully aware of the challenges ahead for this public company“, and announced that he would soon meet Valérie Pécresse, boss of Île-de-France Mobilités, as well as the “travel associations“. Jean Castex will take office on November 28, also specifies the Régie.
In early November, his appointment was endorsed by Parliament. Side National Assemblythe members of the Committee on Sustainable Development supported this proposal by 34 votes to 19. Senatethe predecessor ofElisabeth Borne received 18 votes for, 8 against and two blank votes.
In a review, mid-october, the High Authority for the Transparency of Public Life (HATVP) had given the green light to this appointment, while expressing reservations. Jean Castex will thus not be able to come into contact, for three years, with “members of the Government in office who were also members when he was Prime Minister as well as members of his cabinet who still hold public office“. He must also refrain from discussing with “services that were placed under his direct authority when he was Prime Minister, until May 16, 2025“. A means of ensuring that there is no conflict of interest.
Major challenges ahead
Endless waiting times, internal tensions, lagging recruitment, fraudulent work stoppages, “absenteeism“, opening up to competition, ecological transition putting public transport back at the center of the game, pension reform calling into question the special regime for RATP agents, rising energy prices… The new CEO will have a lot to do , while the network is today undermined by many flaws and shortcomings that exasperated users experience on a daily basis.
Facing the elected members of Parliament, Jean Castex declared that he wanted to focus on “the core businessof the RATP. Grateful “burden of difficultiesawaiting him, the former Prime Minister assured MPs that he wantedcontinue to [se] make usefulto his new position. Despite the difficulties of the business, he refused to fall “in RATP bashing“: “I have the intimate conviction that the RATP is of sizeto overcome the challenges to come, he said, emphasizing those, in the very short term, of social dialogue in the company and the quality of service. A vast program, while users in the Ile-de-France region continue to have to deal with delays, disruptions and cancellations on their daily journeys.