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This year we were to travel by Eurostar and TVG to Marseille to visit Montpellier, Avignon, Nice and the transport systems of the southern French coast. Unfortunately all travel was cancelled so here is some of the things we could have seen.

Nice tram

European Visit

Montpellier

Marseille                                 Public Transport

Marseille has two metro lines. M1, the blue line, runs roughly east to west and back in a broad loop. M2, the red line, runs roughly north to south. There is also a network of over 50 bus routes and three tram lines. Marseille is one of the few French cities to directly operate its transit network without resorting to public service delegation.

Cross-Port Ferry. A free ferry service operates between the two opposite quays of the Old Port. From 2011 ferry shuttle services operate between the Old Port and Pointe Rouge; in the summer it also runs to l'Estaque.

Tram system. The city's modern tram network now consists of three lines, serving 32 stations and operating over 15.8 kilometres and opened on 7 July 2007.

The first horse tramway opened in Marseille on 21 January 1876; electric trams came to Marseille in 1899 and ran to the 1950s, although the original tram system continued to operate until 2004, when the last line, Line 68, was closed. In 2007 the new system came into operation.

Metro. This comprises two lines, partly underground, serving 29 stations, with an overall route length of 22.3 kilometres.  Line 1 opened in 1977, followed by Line 2 in 1984. Two stations, Saint-Charles and Castellane, each provide interchange between lines.

The system's mpm76 trains use the rubber-tyred metro technology. 49% of public transport journeys use the metro.

Buses. The bus network consists of 104 bus routes. There are approximately 633 buses, 2 learning buses and 1 incident bus. The bus rolling stock of the RTM is stored and maintained in several sites within the city, each having their own sheds, pits and tow trucks: The Rose Centre Bus (northeast of the city routes) is the central shed, Bus Centre Saint-Pierre (east central routes), Centre Bus Arenc (north of the city routes), Capelette Bus Centre (south of the city routes).

Bus rapid transit. Three bus rapid transit lines are being constructed as a way to make the metro more efficient and attractive. The lines will connect places to the terminus metro stations (Castellane to Luminy ; Capitaine Gèze - La Cabucelle to Vallon des Tuves ; La Rose to Château Gombert - Saint Jérome).

Marseille hybrid bus on trial

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