Contributing to regional economic and social development
Solidarity in action
At SNCF Réseau, outreach and socially-responsible, inclusive procurement policies are a way of life.
In partnership with the Ministry of Education and via its “Citizen and Passenger” programme, SNCF Réseau trains volunteers among its workforce to go into the classroom and address students on issues such as prevention, safety, civics, the environment and regional development. In 2017, nearly 150 SNCF Réseau employees gave some 16,000 talks to primary, middle and high school students to raise their awareness of railway risks and nip dangerous or uncivil behaviour and wilful damage in the bud.
Recruiting for social and professional inclusion
In partnership with local associations, SNCF Réseau runs a number of projects designed to offer the chronically unemployed the chance to acquire new skills by performing a variety of tasks such as demolition or renovation, cleaning, painting, etc. in stations or on the track. In 2017, 150 back-to-work employees took part 40 projects of this kind.
Socially inclusive, responsible procurement
For SNCF Réseau, efforts to foster local industry in the regions take the form of giving preference to local SME and generally encouraging suppliers to subscribe to certain societal demands. For example, some of its works contracts include clauses requiring the recruitment of long-term jobseekers, to ease them back into gainful employment and train them in construction industry trades. In 2017, over 25% of SNCF Réseau procurement contracts were placed with local SME, while socially inclusive and responsible purchases totalled € 10.1 million.
The network’s positive regional knock-on effects
Indirectly, rail services and the rail network have a positive impact on the regions and their local development policies. SNCF Réseau offers passengers and train operating companies high standards of service, ultimately targeting train frequency, service continuity and reliability courtesy of clockface timetabling, for maximum efficiency, and major network modernisation plans.
Since 2014, it has been engaged on a vast 10+-year upgrading and rehabilitation programme designed to improve traffic flows on the network and relieve congestion at critical points, especially in and around major conurbations.
Suburban and rural lines
Despite limited funds, SNCF Réseau has no intention of abandoning its more modest lines. Through partnerships with individual regions, it is progressing with the modernisation of regional lines in outer suburban and rural areas. These represent more than a third of the national network and are badly in need of enhancement combined with lower operating, maintenance and renewal costs.
If trains are to offer a real alternative to private cars, continuity with other transport modes (buses, bicycles, etc.), especially in the suburbs, is a condition sine qua non. SNCF Réseau is partnering the local and regional authorities in their development policies to achieve this goal in relation to their specific needs.
Railway infrastructure accessibility
SNCF Réseau is also determined to make its network more easily accessible to those with mobility difficulties (PRM). In many stations, upgrading operations are in progress, not least as regards platform accessibility.
Points to remember
SNCF Réseau contributes to regional economic and social growth by:
- improving mobility for people and for goods
- making the regions served more easily accessible, raising their profile and giving them a broader opening on the world
- contributing to an upturn in freight exchanges and facilitating the influx of economic, cultural and tourist activities
- by placing contracts with local firms subscribing to the social and solidarity economy (SSE) and the protected workers sectors and local SME