Trolleybuses in Lyon

The Lyon trolleybus system (French: Réseau de trolleybus de Lyon) is part of the public transport network of the city and commune of Lyon, France. Opened in 1935, it combines with the Lyon Metro, the Lyon tramway network and Lyon's urban motorbus network to form an integrated all-four scheme.

Lyon trolleybus system
Irisbus Cristalis ETB18 C3 Lyon TCL.JPG
An Irisbus Cristalis in Lyon, 2009.
LocaleLyon, France
Open15 October 1935 (1935-10-15)
Routes8 (+ 1)
Operator(s)Keolis Lyon
WebsiteTCL (in French and English)

Lyon was one of the first cities in France to experience trolleybuses. It is the capitale du trolleybus français ("capital of the French trolleybus"). In 1961, the Lyon trolleybus system had the largest number of trolleybuses ever to operate simultaneously in France (370 vehicles). In the 21st century, it has been a leader in the development of new trolley buses.

The system is owned by SYTRAL, and, like most of the rest of the all-four scheme, is operated by Keolis Lyon on behalf of Transports en commun lyonnais (TCL). Since 2006, it has been expanded by the electrification of two major new lines (C1 and C2). As of 2015, the system consisted of nine lines.


The Lyon trolleybus system is presently made up of the following lines:

Line Route Depot Sat Sun/Hols
C1   Gare Part Dieu-Vivier Merle <> Cuire UTN yes    yes
C2   Gare Part Dieu-Vivier Merle <> Rillieux-Semailles UTN yes    yes
C3   Gare St Paul <> Vaulx en Velin-La Grappinière UTS yes    yes
C4   Jean Macé <> Cité Internationale-Centre de Congrès UTS yes    yes
C11   Saxe-Gambetta <> Laurent Bonnevay-Astroballe UTS yes    yes
C13   Grange Blanche <> Montessuy-Gutenberg UTC yes    yes
C14   Jean Macé <> Les Sources UTV yes    yes
C18   Hôtel de Ville-Louis Pradel <> Croix Rousse-Nord UTC yes    yes
S6   Hôtel de Ville-Louis Pradel <> Croix-Rousse UTC yes    yes


All of these lines, except line S6, offer a high level of service, and operate 7 days a week from 5 am to midnight, with frequent services on weekdays from 7.00 am to 8.00 pm (usually every 8 to 10 minutes, at most every 12 minutes). They provide an attractive and permanent service throughout the year, including during school holiday periods.

Lines C1 to C3 are equipped with a signal priority system, dedicated lanes for almost their entire routes, and high-capacity bus shelters fitted with ticket distributors.

The principle of these three lines dates back to 2006, and the creation of lignes fortes Cristalis ("Cristalis strong lines"), designated by the letter C. Cristalis was a model of trolleybus built by Irisbus. The principle was extended on 29 August 2011 to 23 other lines, some operated by trolleybuses, and the rest by motorbuses. The letter "C" has been retained a designator of these lines, but no longer has no any other meaning.


As of 2012, the Lyon trolleybus fleet stood at 131 vehicles, of which 76 were rigid buses and 55 articulated buses:

Fleet nos. Qty Manufacturer Electrics Model Type Built Line(s)
1711 to 1717 07 MAN/Hess Kiepe NMT 222 Rigid 1999 S6
1801 to 1869 69 Irisbus Irisbus Cristalis 12 Rigid 2000–2004 C4, C11, C14, and C18
1901 to 1927
2901 to 2917
44 Irisbus Irisbus Cristalis 18 Articulated 2001–2006 C1, C2 and C3
2918 to 2928 11 Irisbus Irisbus Cristalis 18 Articulated 2010 C1, C2 and C4

See alsoEdit


  • Chappelet, Robert; Perenon, Jacques; Clavaud, René (2002). Le trolleybus à Lyon [The Trolleybus in Lyon]. Breil-sur-Roya: Éditions du Cabri. ISBN 2-914603-01-0.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 45°45′38″N 04°51′34″E / 45.76056°N 4.85944°E / 45.76056; 4.85944