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A 60% rise in the cost of tour buses parking in Paris causes tour bus owners'wrath

Paris City Hall takes measures that provok tour buses owners' anger

As per January 2 2017 the cost for a tour bus parking pass in designated areas in Paris will increase by 30%-70%. This measure applies to tour buses meeting the Euro IV anti-pollution norms

Rédigé par La Rédaction le Lundi 24 Octobre 2016

The French National Passenger Transport Federation, (FNTV), expresses indignation over recent measures announced by Paris City Hall concerning tour buses owners.

Among these, the rise of parking costs (an additional rise to the one which has been implemented in May 2016) which could represent for some tour buses a 350% increase within the next two years and a new anti-pollution standard (which has not been validated yet), the Euro 7, could affect tourism in the French capital.

An inappropriate and excessive increase

Paris City Hall has announced an important rise of parking costs for tour buses marketed between 2006 and 2009.

This rise is far from being compensated by the initial tariff reduction promised for Euro V and Euro VI standardised tour buses. The FNTV complains in a press release about such "minor and discriminatory reductions".

This 18% reduction only concerns Pass subscribers and do not apply to companies occasionally going to Paris, should they meet the anti-pollution stantards. Even tour buses meeting the Euro VI anti-pollution standards and parking in designated areas will be affected by a 308 euros bill as of January 2 2017, an additional 99 euros to what they pay today.

In response to this measure, the 1000 tour buses owners bringing about 34 000 tourists every day in Paris could opt to keep on driving downtown instead of paying this big parking fee.

Paris would then obtain a contrary effect to its anti-pollution policy.

Would the Euro 7 standard solve the pollution issue?

Designated as pollutants, tour buses are subjects to strict anti-pollution standards. Euro 7, a new anti-pollution norm requires Euro 4,5 and 6 standardised vehicules to exit the market. This initiative puzzled the FNTV.

Actually, the Euro 7 norm doesn't exist. Initiated by Paris city hall, it anticipates the emergence of electric and natural gaz operating tour buses on the market. The FNTV reacted promptly : "Once again Paris City Hall shows litlle knowledge about the tour buses industry. » According to the French National Passenger Transport Federation, these vehicles are far from seeing the light of the day. And should they appear on the market, those vehicles "would still meet the Euro VI standards (…) As of today, alternative motorisations do not allow tour buses travelling from provinces or from abroad to run long distances to reach Paris".

Why should tour buses be the sole responsible for pollution in Paris? "They only represent 0,3% of the road traffic" NFTV says. Is this approach the right one ?

A growing discontent

In parallel with these excessive measures announcement, the FNTV complains with Paris City Hall's lack of communication.

The union thought that a collaborative work with the City Hall could improve the situation on various issues: pollution (by increasing parking time in strategic areas of the city), logistics (giving access to some bus lanes to faster unload and load tourists near touristic attractions) and structure...
They also hoped they could work together on improving tour buses coaching in designated parking areas ( by helping to direct and to walk tourists from the parking lot to touristic sites so bus drivers can stay in their bus as required instead of helping and leaving the bus),

Infuriated by "Paris City Hall's dogmatism", tour buses owners members of FNTV altogether with other tour buses owners unions "give Paris City Hall an ultimatum ». They threaten to block every access to the capital during th Holidays season if the City Hall do not adress their concerns.

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