The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to loan €300 million to Lille Métropole, France, to modernise and increase capacity on its metro system.

The improvements will include the purchase of trains, plus the modification of the platforms at 18 stations on line 1.

Lille’s metro was the world’s first driverless metro system when it opened in 1983. As part of the upgrade, its automatic driving system and related systems and equipment will be replaced.

The investment forms part of Lille Métropole’s policy of doubling public transport use by 2020 on a network capable of catering for 265 million journeys a year compared to 160 million today.

The entire upgrade project will cost €610 million.

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