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The Marseille Metro (French: Métro de Marseille) is a rapid transit system serving the city of Marseille, in southern France. The Marseille Metro opened in 1977. As of 2013, the system comprises two lines, partly underground, serving 28 stations, with an overall route length of 21.5 kilometres (13.4 mi).[1] The first line (Line 1) opened on November 26, 1977. After the opening of a second line and multiple extensions, the metro currently serves 28 stations, two of which (Saint-Charles and Castellane) provide interchange with another line.

Marseille Metro
Metro de Marseille - Castellane 03.jpg
At Castellane station
Native nameMétro de Marseille
LocaleMarseille, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France
Transit typeRapid transit
Number of lines2[1]
Number of stations28[1]
Daily ridership210,200 (daily avg., 2012)[2]
Annual ridership76.7 million (2012)[2]
Began operation1977
System length21.5 km (13.4 mi)[1]
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
System map
Marseille - Metro - Netzplan.png
La Rose Gèze
Désirée Clary
BSicon TRAM.svg 2 
5-Av. Longch.
BSicon TRAM.svg 2 
Jules Guesde
BSicon TRAM.svg 1  2 
N.D.d.M. Cours J.
R.-P. Prado
La Timone
S.te-Marg. D.
La Blancarde
BSicon TRAM.svg 1  2 
L. Armand
La Fourragére

Source: File:Marseille - Metro - Netzplan.png

The Metro uses the rubber-tyred metro technology developed by the RATP Paris transport operator (French: Régie autonome des transports parisiens) for some lines of the Paris Metro. In 2013 the Marseille Metro carried approximately 76.7 million passengers in 2012[2], making it a core part of the transport network in the Marseille urban area, with 49% of journeys using the metro.

Since 1986 the Régie des transports métropolitains has operated the network, operating it since 2016 on behalf of the Aix-Marseille-Provence Metropolis.


Date Line Event
November 26th 1977 Line 1 First section opened between La Rose - Technopôle de Château-Gombert and Saint-Charles
March 11th 1978 Extended southwards from Saint-Charles to Castellane
Marc 3rd 1984 Line 2 Section opened between Joliette and Castellane
February 1st 1986 Extended southwards from Castellane to Sainte-Marguerite Dromel
February 14th 1987 Extended northwards from Joliette to Bougainville
September 5th 1992 Line 1 Extended eastwards from 'Castellane to La Timone
May 5th 2010 Extended eastwards from La Timone to La Fourragère
2018 Line 2 Planned extension northwards from Bougainville to Gèze (1 new station - 0.9 kilometres (0.56 mi))[3]
2025 Planned extension eastwards from Sainte-Marguerite Dromel to Saint-Loup - Pagnol (5 or 6 new stations - between 4.1 kilometres (2.5 mi) and 4.6 kilometres (2.9 mi))[4]
2029 Line 3 Planned opening between Luminy and St Charles (15 new stations - between 9.6 kilometres (6.0 mi) and 10 kilometres (6.2 mi))[4]


The first plans for a metro system in Marseille appeared in the early years of the 20th century, following the opening of the Paris metro.[5] Many plans were put forward, but quickly abandoned due to lack of financing. The most serious proposal emanated in 1918 from the Compagnie d'électricité de Marseille, which proposed to build an underground network similar to the Paris métro. This proposal was met with fierce opposition from the Compagnie générale française de tramways, which owned and operated the city's tramway system. This project ultimately failed, and the idea of building a metro in Marseille was abandoned for many decades.

The tramway system, badly damaged during the Second World War, was almost completely scrapped during the 1950s and replaced by buses (with the exception of line 68). However, by 1960, the city was suffering from severe congestion due to the growth in automobile use. New metro projects resurfaced in the mid-1960s, as a means to alleviate traffic congestion. After several years of studies, the city council voted unanimously in 1969 for the creation of a metro system.[6]

Construction of the first line started on August 13, 1973 and lasted until early 1977.[7] Revenue operation started on November 26, 1977 on a portion of the line, between La Rose and Saint-Charles. The rest of the line opened on March 11, 1978. The plans for the second line were approved in 1978. Construction began in 1980.[8] The central portion of the line, between Joliette and Castellane, opened on March 3, 1984. Southern and northern portions of the line were opened in February 1986 and February 1987 respectively.

Subsequent extensions took place in the following years on line 1, first between Castellane and La Timone on September 5, 1992 (1.5 km, 2 new stations),[9] and then between La Timone and La Fourragère (2.5 km, 4 new stations) in 2010.[10]

Current networkEdit


Rolling stockEdit

The rolling stock comprises 36 4-car trains, named MPM 76.[11] Trains have a capacity of 472 passengers (including 182 seats). MPM 76 trains use the rubber tyre metro technology developed by the RATP for the Paris métro.

Trains were built in Valenciennes, France, by a group of French companies which are now part of Alstom group. A first batch of 21 3-car trains was delivered in 1976, for line 1. A second batch of 15 was delivered in 1983, for line 2. In 1985, a fourth car was added on every train, in order to increase capacity.

Commercial operationEdit

The metro system is operated by the Régie des Transports Métropolitains, on behalf of the Urban Community of Marseille Provence Métropole, which owns the infrastructure as well as the rolling stock.

Service is open every day, from 5 am to 1 am the next day. Trains run every 3 minutes during rush hour, and every 10 minutes during evenings.

The metro system transported 76.7 million passengers in 2012,[2] leading to an average daily ridership of over 210,000.

Planned developmentsEdit

A 900-metre (0.56 mi) long extension of line 2 to Capitaine Gèze is expected to open in 2019, north of the current terminus station Bougainville.[12][13][14] The new Capitaine Gèze station will feature a bus station and a park and ride facility. This short extension will reuse existing service tracks that currently lead to the Zoccola depot. The cost is estimated to be 80 million euros.

Several other long-term extensions, including a southern extension of line 2 from Sainte-Marguerite to St-Loup, are being considered.

The replacement of the MPM76 rolling stock is expected to take place by the year 2020.[15] However, no decision has been made as of January 2013.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d "Fiche d'identité de l'Entreprise - LE METRO" [ID card of the company - THE METRO]. (in French). Retrieved September 28, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d "Fiche d'identité de l'Entreprise - LE TRANSPORT AU COEUR DE NOTRE MISSION : Un Réseau Intégré" [ID card of the company - TRANSPORT AT THE HEART OF OUR MISSION: An Integrated Network]. (in French). Retrieved September 28, 2013.
  3. ^ "Métro : Capitaine Gèze ne sera pas livré avant 2018". La Provence. December 15, 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Marseille: Le prolongement de la ligne 2 du métro vers le sud sur de bons rails". 20 Minutes. December 13, 2016.
  5. ^ (Laupiès 1993, pp. 49–56)
  6. ^ (Laupiès 1993, pp. 71–81)
  7. ^ (Laupiès 1993, pp. 81–86)
  8. ^ (Laupiès 1993, pp. 86–95)
  9. ^ (Laupiès 1993, pp. 104–114)
  10. ^ Jean-Jacques Fiorito (May 5, 2010). "Marseille : le métro s'offre quatre nouvelles stations". La Provence (in French).
  11. ^ Bochet, Henri (March 1980). "Le métro de Marseille". Revue générale des chemins de fer (in French). Dunod: 139–146. ISSN 0035-3183.
  12. ^ "Annoncée en 2015, la station Gèze déraille jusqu'à septembre 2019 | Marsactu". Marsactu (in French). May 23, 2018. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  13. ^ Vinzent, Julien (June 6, 2011). "Bus, cars, voitures et vélos auront rendez-vous au futur métro capitaine Gèze". Archived from the original on December 31, 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  14. ^ Fiorito, Jean-Jacques (September 27, 2011). "Marseille : et voici le futur terminus de la ligne 2 du métro". La Provence (in French).
  15. ^ Vinzent, Julien (May 25, 2012). "Le renouvellement du métro coûtera "plusieurs centaines de millions d'euros"". (in French). Archived from the original on June 2, 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)


  • Laupiès, Jacques (1993). Marseille et son Métro (in French). Éditions Paul Tacussel. ISBN 2903963665.
  • Groneck, Christoph (2006). Metros in France. Robert Schwandl Verlag. ISBN 978-3936573138.

External linksEdit