Getting around Lyon
Modernity and efficiency characterize the Lyon transport network. 4 underground lines, 5 tram lines, 2 funiculars and over 130 bus lines, united in a single integral fare system: TCL (Transports en commun lyonnais). Here, then, are the reasons why getting around Lyon is really simple and intuitive. Taxis are certainly a convenient but more expensive alternative.
More than 700,000 passengers use the underground network every day to move around Lyon. Inaugurated in 1978, the metro today consists of four lines (identified by the letter A, B, C and D), 42 stations and an extension of about 30 kilometers.
Photo ©, Ian Fisher
The metro is highly efficient, modern, with excellent frequencies. During peak hours, the races are made every 2 minutes on lines A and D, every 3 minutes on line B and every 5 minutes on line C. Numbers that, little or nothing, have to envy the big capitals. The metro runs from around 04:30 in the morning until midnight.
Like all public transport, it is operated by Keolis Lyon, under the TCL brand. Characteristic of the Lyon metro is to move to the left. Here are the four lines in operation:
- LINE A: Perrache – Vaulx-en-Velin La Soie.
- LINE B: Charpennes – Gare d’Oullins.
- LINE C: Hôtel de Ville – Cuire.
LINE D: Gare de Vaise – Gare de Vénissieux.
GETTING AROUND LYON BY TAXI
Taxis are easily identified by the presence of the logo and the meter clearly visible. They are in service in all the main points of the city, squares, airport and railway station. The tariffs applied are clear and transparent, with a fixed limit. This does not mean that the prices are cheap… far from it!
For each trip, an initial fee of €2 is paid to which the cost per kilometer is added (from €1.40 to €2.00 depending on the day and time slot). In addition to this, additional fees apply for the transport of baggage or animals, and a surcharge for travel to/from the airport.
The Lyon tram network is quite extensive and represents an excellent complement to the underground line. It is a rather ancient medium; just think that the first line was inaugurated in the distant 1879.
After the modernization works in 2001, the network today consists of a total of 6 lines, which extend for 64 kilometers. Of these, the T5 and Rhonexpress lines represent two special lines. The T5, in fact, follows the same route as the T2, up to Les Alizés; it is no coincidence that, originally, it should have been called T2+. Rhonexpress, on the other hand, is the special line that connects the city with Lyon International Airport. Only on the latter, there is a special rate.
The lines are generally active every day from 04.40am to about midnight. On Sundays and holidays, the first ride is around 05:30 in the morning. On weekdays, the frequencies of the races, from 06:30 to 18:15, are between 5 and 8 minutes.
“Green” and “eco-friendly” solution for those who wink at the environment and sustainability. The bike is an excellent tool for getting around Lyon, thanks also to an ever-expanding network of cycle paths. Just remember that given the presence of numerous hilly areas (Fourvière, Croix Rousse), you will often have to pedal uphill!
The Velo’v public service has also been active in Lyon since 2015. You can pick up your bike at one of the 300 points scattered around the city. The use is simple and intuitive, as is already the case in many cities. You download the official app (iOS or Play Store) and register your credit card. The rates are quite cheap, mainly in 2 options:
- 1 DAY. You pay €1.50 for unlocking (once for the whole day). The rate includes the first 30 minutes of travel by bike (enough for any trip).
- 7 DAYS. The cost for unlocking is €5. Includes 30 free minutes per day for commuting.
The road network represents an excellent alternative for getting around Lyon and reaching the more peripheral areas.
There are 114 ordinary lines in service in the city, active from morning until late evening. To these are added the so-called “lignes de bus au service renforcé”. The latter are identified by the letter C, followed by a progressive number from 1 to 26. These are special lines, always active during the year, with rapid and rapid routes.
The LIGNES PLEIN LUNES are night lines with which it is possible to move around alione during the night. The PL1, PL2 and PL3 lines run on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, from 01:00 to 04:00, with a frequency of one hour. The PL4 line is active on Friday and Saturday nights, with only two trips, at 01:00 and 03:00.
The 4 night lines all depart from the center of Lyon, between Hotel-de-Ville (the Town Hall) and Terraux La Feuillée.