After the 2024 Olympic Games, the stops for “Macron buses” could be scattered outside of Paris, which worries BlablaCar and FlixBus operators and customers.
Once the Paris Bercy bus station is closed after the 2024 Olympic Games, the stops for “Macron buses” could be scattered outside of Paris. This prospect, mentioned by the municipality, worries BlablaCar and FlixBus operators and customers.
Emmanuel Grégoire, the First Deputy Mayor of Paris, justified the closure of the infamous Bercy-Seine station in early September due to the “incivilities related to the overcrowding of the place”, which according to him has become “a dumping ground” since the arrival of long-distance buses in 2017. More generally, he also said, “We do not support this type of mobility”, reserved in his opinion for “people with low purchasing power”, while also criticizing the high price of trains.
If intercity bus operators were hoping that the site would only close “at the end of the public service delegation”, after the summer of 2026, the municipality of Paris reaffirmed to AFP its intention to close it “immediately after the end of the 2024 Olympic Games”, arguing that the public service delegation contract, awarded to a company majority-owned by the city, only provided for the reception of tourist buses as a parking lot and not as a transit station.
By the end of 2024, Bercy-Seine should therefore return to its initial function as a parking lot for tourist buses, and the more than 300 buses from FlixBus and BlaBlaCar that stop there every day will have to find a new place to go. Emmanuel Grégoire is in favor of “small bus stations at major transport hubs” such as Orly, Roissy, or Marne-la-Vallée, as well as at certain stations of the future Grand Paris metro. According to him, these stops would be more accessible to the entire population of the Paris region.
On the operators’ side, they readily acknowledge the cleanliness and security issues. However, dispersing the stops several tens of minutes away from the Paris metro or RER does not appear to be “viable” to them. BlaBlaCar also shares the same sentiment and laments that the closure was decided “without consultation with the operators”.
Nevertheless, the company sees this as an opportunity to build “a large, well-equipped bus station”, either in Paris or in its immediate vicinity, like “in any other European capital”.