Lyon’s Public Transportation System
Lyon boasts an extensive and modern public transportation network, allowing the city and some of its suburbs to be accessible to those without cars. Visitors may choose from a number of transportation modes: Métro, tramway, trolley, funicular, bus, and last but not least, Velo’v, Lyon’s bicycles sharing program. Purchasing tickets is simple, convenient and again, with a variety of options to accommodate diverse needs.
Lyon’s Métro System
Unlike Paris or New York, Lyon has a straightforward and easy to navigate Métro system. Four Métro lines operate in the city: red, blue, yellow, and green. Entrances to the Métro are marked with the letter M. Train frequency depends on the time of the day and differs from line to line. Waiting time, however, is seldom more than 10 minutes. Major Métro stations and connecting points include: Bellecour, Charpennes, Gare Perrache and Gare Part-Dieu.
Tramway and Trolley Lines in Lyon
After the Métro, the tram and trolley are the next fastest modes of transport in the city. There are four tramway lines (T1, T2, T3 and T4) and three trolley lines (C1, C2 and C3) in Lyon. Unlike the Métro, riders have to validate their own tickets on the tram and trolley. Tickets validation machines can be found near the doors. Don’t forget this step as officers from the TCL, Lyon’s public transportation agency, frequently carry out random checks.
Using Buses in Lyon
Many buses circulate in the city. Some go out to neighboring towns and the suburbs of Lyon. Buses usually take the longest time, but they often go the furthest and to places where other types of transport do not.
Buying Tickets for Public Transportation in Lyon
Tickets for buses and trolleys can be purchased from the driver. For the Métro and tramway, tickets need to be bought in advance. Ticket machines are available at all Métro and tramway stations. Riders can pay by cash or card. A single ride costs €1.60. A set of ten rides costs €13.70. A day pass, at €4.70, allows unlimited number of rides on the Métro, tramway, trolley, funicular and bus.
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Maps and Schedules of Lyon’s Transportation Network
Métro and tramway stations have comprehensive maps of all the Métro, tramway, trolley, and bus routes. Free copies of these maps and bus schedules are available at all TCL branch offices. The TCL website has electronic versions of maps and schedules, as well as minutely updated information on delays, route changes, and more.
While Lyon is probably best explored on foot, walking everywhere can get tiring and unpleasant, especially during the cold months of winter and hot months of summer. Visitors to Lyon should plan out the sites they want to see and get a day pass or two, that way they can freely enjoy the city’s beauty without having to keep track of transportation cost.