Saint Etienne Métropole planned to extend Line 3 of its tram network between Châteaucreux and Geoffroy Guichard stations in order to connect the Le Soleil, La Plaine Achille, La Technopôle and the Geoffroy Guichard football ground districts. This line would complete the existing network and offer an alternative to Line 1, which passes through the town centre.
To bring the extension of the network into service quickly, Transamo, the STAS (the operator of the network in Saint-Etienne) and EPURES (the town’s urban development agency) conducted a pre-feasibility study before starting the design work.
The first part of the mission consisted of studying the possible routes of the line. Three routes, with variants, were proposed. The pros and cons of each route were identified. Sketches were produced showing the integration of the routes in order to highlight the imperatives of the introduction of a tram platform along the different axes.
The operational plans of the future line were also proposed.
The passenger volumes on the new section were estimated using modelling techniques. Estimates were also made of the transfer from existing lines to the new line and of the impacts of the property development projects in the sectors crossed.
A proposal was made to restructure public transport network to support the introduction of the new line. The production costs were evaluated, as well as the impacts on the rolling stock and systems. An estimate of the investment costs was also made.
The pre-feasibility study incorporated all the aspects covered. It was handed over to Saint-Etienne Métropole and will be used in the future studies of the project.
On 1 April 2015, the Saint-Etienne urban district council voted to go ahead with the new tram line.