Marseille: a "secret" bus line is provoking controversy


TRANSPORT – A bus line has been set up especially during the summer between the city center of Marseille and the affluent districts of the south of the metropolis. A special sign: its existence is not indicated anywhere, and avoids certain areas favored by tourists. The opposition denounces patronage.

It's an insider secret which, unveiled at the end of this summer, wreaks havoc in Marseille. The local news site Marsactu revealed on Monday that a bus line provided, during the summer season, the link between Place Castellane, in the heart of the city, and the southern parts of the city, often described as "rich ". A bus line mentioned nowhere, if not through the word of mouth orchestrated by the committees of the very chic 8th arrondissement.

In detail, the "MDM Special" – for Madrague de Montredon – is a service set up by the Régie des transports marseillais (RTM). A service that doubles an already existing line, the 19, very bottled in the summer since it provides a circuit serving most of the Prado beaches from the city center. A trip that also makes the "Special MDM" 12 times a day, except that it does not stop at some stops, especially the Prado roundabout where hundreds of tourists daily pass … The same who, for the majority, do not know that this trip could be made with this discreet bus line. And for good reason: the RTM nowhere displays the schedules and stops, either on the Internet or in front of the stations.

On learning of the "Special MDM", many Marseille have criticized a "secret" bus, a "ghost ship" reserved for a handful of inhabitants well informed by their elected officials. Very quickly, the opposition also took hold of the controversy: "The RTM is not in its role when it sets up such a service and restricts the information so as to limit its use. a logic of privilege, "vilified Hervé Menchon, councilor EELV sector. Even anger on the side of Benoît Payan, elected PS: "When we privatize for a few public transport, it is a mix of clientelism, cynicism and incompetence to organize transport! It is pathetic".

Faced with criticism, Yvette Rochette explained herself. Contacted by 20 Minutes, the president of the Federation of District Interest Committees (CIQ) of the 8th arrondissement, which benefits from the "Special MDM", ensures: "We had to fight, lobby, as always, because the line 19 was saturated, it is useless to show it on the sites since the inhabitants of the eighth know its existence very well! " On the side of the RTM, we minimize: "This is not a line but a special service for people who work and who need a normal connection during the summer period.Anyone can take it, it's a pretty old service. "

It would have been put in place about ten years ago, says the World City Hall of the 6th and 8th arrondissements, ensuring that at the time "the metropolis was presided over by a socialist and the RTM by a man of the left" .

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