Sunday, 9 December 2007

Public transport - things are getting moving

Picture from the SNOTPG - Site non officiel des TPG

Well this weekend sees a true revolution for those of us working in Geneva the No 5 bus will go directly to the airport, making it even easier to travel to distant places (btw it is now over 15 months since I flew anywhere). The new timetables comes in across Europe this weekend - one utter miracle is the French SNCF discovery (in Rhone Alpes anyway) of what the the Germans call "Taktverkehr" - no this is not about Germans being tactful but it is about trains running at the same time past each hour, so it looks as if we 're going to have a regional train to Lyon every two hours (supplemented by TGV's inbetween leaving in the more usual, less regular French way).
The other big news is that the Genevan Z bus is now going to go over the border, just like the F bus does to Ferney. There have been problems with this in the past because of the Schengen accords and the French Prefet of the Ain (the department we live in) actually once blocked a Swiss bus from Nyon from crossing the border into Divonne, saying it was illegal! Not great for the people trying to get to work.
Anyway the population in our region has been rapidly rising over the past decade and there has been a huge amount of new building. Meanwhile the right wing governed communauté des communes has not exactly moved fast to think about an integrated transport policy. For a while I got the impression that the policy was traffic jams and road deaths. So now it's really good that the Noctambus on Fridays and Saturdays will go as far as Gex, young people won't have to try and hitchhike home on a dangerous piece of road - and even we could stay in Geneva until after midnight. There's also an alternative Genevan public transport website which has a great video of the inauguration of the new tram and lots of interesting information and forums where people can rant about late buses and changes in the routes etc. It may be the place to start the campaign to get bendy buses on the F bus route.
I suppose you've guessed, I do not drive, hence my interest in public transport, just occasionally you may think I'm a train spotter! Anway if we're going to do anything about global warming public transport has to be part of it.