Tariff policy measure improves efficiency of the bus routes at Lyon SYTRAL

SYTRAL the transport authority of Lyon metropolitan area wants to discourage
passengers to buy their bus ticket on board in order to spare time on the bus routes. To
achieve this goal, SYTRAL decided to raise the price of the single ticket up to €2
starting January 1 2012, as opposed to €1.60 when tickets are bought from the
vending machine, the selling points, or the retailer service shops.

The objectives are clearly:

  • to improve the boarding time by allowing a continuous flow of passengers,
  • to improve commercial speed and regularity of the bus route,
  • to improve the driver’s safety.

The review after one year in operation has proved encouraging even if not all of the objectives have been reached.
The number of ticket sold in board has decreased as anticipated by around 40%,
furthermore the price fixed at 2€, in sparing the time of returning the change, further brings down the selling-time by another 20%.


The measure also proves efficient in terms of easing the flow of passengers all the more important when, as is the case in Lyon, boarding is allowed by the front door only. It also improves the regularity of the bus routes, the time spent at each stop is decreased and somehow standing time at stops become more regular. The average number of transactions per route has been reduced from 3.3 to 1.8.

Actually 60% of the headways as opposed to one third previously see one only transaction. However the measure doesn’t bring real progress as to the commercial speed and this is no surprise. In fact the time spent at the stops is short compared to the whole time spent en route for one, and second several other external factors impact the driving time and in particular the traffic circumstances.

  • Updated : February 10, 2012

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