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Transportation in Marseille

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Marseille is the second most densely populated city in France. Stretching from the sea to hilly and rugged terrain, the city moves with a combination of buses, metros, tramways, bikes, shuttle boats and cars. Marseille is particularly hilly and is therefore ideal for those wishing to combine their commute with a workout.

For the others, a multitude of cheap transportation options exist, especially given that ticket prices are based on characteristics such as age. To get to Marseille, you can either fly into the Marseille Provence International Airport or travel on the TGV (fast trains).

Subway

The subway (called the 'Metro' in Marseille) network stretches over 21.5km with two lines covering a total of 30 stations. The Metro is relatively new and was only opened in 1977, which is rather surprising for a city of the size and importance of Marseille. There are two lines (Metro 1 and Metro 2), with one line running from the North to the South and another shoe-laced line starting in La Rose, through the Old Port and all the way to La Fourragère. The network is operated by the Régie des Transports de Marseille. There are plans to extend the network further, and those interested in buying property in the city should acquaint themselves with the proposed extensions in order to make the most of potential increases in property prices as a result of the extension.

The subway is operational from 5am until 1am the next day. Note, however, that the last departure trip is scheduled before half past midnight.

Tramway

Marseille's tramway system comprises three lines serving a total of 32 stations over 13km. The following lines are available as from 5 am till half past midnight:

  • Line T1 : Noailles-Les Caillols
  • Line T2 : Blancarde Foch - Arenc Le Silo
  • Line T3 : Arenc Le Silo – Castellane

The tramway and subway networks are interlaced and collectively constitute a very convenient way of travelling around the city, including areas further away from the Old Port.

Bus

The bus network comprises 950km of lines serving around 2000 bus stops, as well as three neighbouring cities, namely Allauch, Plan-de-Cuques and Septèmes-les-Vallons. The network is operational both by day and night. The day service starts at 5am and finishes at 9pm. The night service starts at 9pm and runs until half past midnight for the night service (Fluobus).

Bike

Le Vélo is a cycle program which is specially intended for those who enjoy biking. The system comprises no fewer than 1,000 bikes over 130 stations. The service allows cycling across Marseilles 24/7, but bear in mind that some areas of the city are very steep.

Car sharing

If you have a valid driver's license and you wish to drive around the city, why not opt for car sharing? In fact the city hosts some 20 rental stations with a total of 60 vehicles. Note, however, that car sharing is intended for short trips within the city itself and not outside the bounds of Marseille.

Taxi

Thanks to Taxi Radio Marseille and Les Taxis Marseillais, you will never end up short of means of transport. Indeed, the taxi network is comprised of no less than 1,560 professional taxi drivers over a total of 80 taxi stands. It is possible to reserve in advance, and the taxis are most convenient for trips early in the morning and late at night.

Shuttle boat

The shuttle boat is great both for commuting and for sightseeing purposes. The boats are available as from 6.45am until 7.35pm on a daily basis. They can take you from the Vieux Port to the Frioul archipelago and back, and the ride out of the port is exquisite and constitutes a must-do for visitors to the city.

Fares

Public transport fares generally vary according to different categories of people, which includes social condition and age. Find more information on the Régie des Transports de Marseille website (see useful links below).

 Useful links:

La Régie des Transports de Marseille – RTM
Marseille Official Portal Se déplacer

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