Thursday, 13 September 2018

Nancy, France

The city of Nancy, in eastern France, is home to quite an unusual transport system.

Around two dozen French cities have reintroduced trams to their streets in recent decades.  Nancy has chosen a different option - a guided trolleybus.

The trolleybuses, which are high-capacity, bi-articulated vehicles, are manually steered in the suburbs.  In the city centre, however, they are guided by a rail.

The trolleybuses operate over a single route, line 1, a cross-city service running from the south to the north east of Nancy. 

They carry a fairly plain livery of white with grey relief.

As can be seen in the image below, street signs refer to the guided trolleybuses as "tram".


When the system was opened, there were plans to expand it.  I understand, however, that it has suffered technical issues.

When lines 2 and 3 were added, articulated buses were used rather than guided trolleybuses (or even conventional trolleybuses).  The articulated buses are powered by natural gas.



On trolleybus line 1 and on bus lines 2 and 3, passengers can board the bus through any door.  Bicycles can also be carried on these services (but not on other routes), except during rush hours.

Gas-powered articulated buses also operate on route 4.  On this service, however, passengers must board through the front set of doors only.



Standard single-deck buses operate on a number of other bus routes.  These, too, are gas-powered.


I found minibuses operating on some services.


One of the minibus routes, operating through narrow streets in the heart of Nancy, is named "p'tit Stan" (little Stan).

This service does not have a route number.

The urban public transport system in Nancy is provided by STAN (website in French only).

A simple fare system applies.  A single ticket costs €1.50 if bought on board a bus, or €1.30 if bought in advance (including from ticket machines at principal stops including all stops on line 1, as well as from a network of agents).  This allows transfers for up to one hour after it is first validated.  A 10-journey ticket is available for €9.70, while a 24-hour ticket allowing unlimited travel for 24 hours from its first validation costs €3.90.  Group tickets are also available, as are monthly tickets for regular travel.  10-journey and 24-hour tickets are not sold on board buses, but can be bought from ticket machines at stops.  Group tickets are available only from Stan agencies.

Complementing the bus and trolleybus network are a couple of other services.

A demand-responsive minibus service is provided for disabled people.  This operates under the name "handiStan".

"VélOstan'lib" is the name of Nancy's public cycle hire scheme.

Cycles can be hired from 29 docking stations.  The VélOstan'lib website (in French only) has further information


Buses heading out of Nancy into the surrounding region are branded as Ted'.

I noted a high-floor bus operating on a Ted' service.

Information about Ted' bus services is available at SimplicIM Lorraine, the multi-modal transport information site covering the Lorraine region.

Finally, a road train operates for tourists, from the end of March to the beginning of November.  The road train departs from Place Stanislas in the centre of Nancy.