Sustainable Cities™

Lyon: An overall vision for transport - Urban Mobility Master Plan

Planners of greater Lyon, France, recognise that high usage of private cars does not correspond well with sustainable city development. To solve the far-reaching problems related to transport, the city has come up with an overall plan to deal with mobility as a whole. This case describes Lyon’s Urban Mobility Master Plan on the way toward sustainable city development.

Cykel parkering i Lyon, 27. oktober 2005, Af Frederic Bonifas, Flickr, Creative Commons

In 1997, Greater Lyon adopted an Urban Mobility Master Plan. The objective of the plan was to re-harmonise the distribution of means of travel, to create conditions for a pleasant town containing solidarity and thereby, in turn, favour sustainable mobility. The project for Lyon and its suburbs, and the Mandate Plan - defining the major policy orientations for Greater Lyon up until 2007 - had a budget of 788 million Euros for investments in transport.

The Urban Mobility Master Plan (UMMP) combined a whole series of objectives, including reduction of motor traffic, development of public transport, cycling and walking, reducing the number of accidents, reducing pollution and disturbance, promoting social fairness, and the reallocating of urban space. A national committee monitored the progress of the UMMP.

The principal objectives for the Lyon transport policy was to draw up a global strategy, guaranteeing the coherence of all decisions made concerning means of transport and seeking their complementarities. This was to seek improved harmony between the different means of transport, with a priority on public transport, developing cycling and walking, while simultaneously slowing down the increase of the private car. Last, but not least to improve the quality of the services provided for all Lyon inhabitants, with the aim to strengthen the solidarity of the city and its suburbs and guarantee everyone easy travel within the city.

Tramway in Lyon, July 2007, By Florian Fevre, Flickr, Creative Commons

An urban mobility consultative committee was set up to co-ordinate and monitor the various initiatives. It included the decision-making partners: The State, Region, Department, Greater Lyon Council and SYTRAL (JointTransport Administration for the Rhone department and the Lyon Conurbation), economic partners and four qualified user representatives. Any local mayors concerned by the agenda was invited to the working meetings of the Consultative Committee.

A mobility observatory was created to assess the various actions. This observatory, among other actions, undertook an extension of the air-quality monitoring network and the creation of a transport account to register all mobility related expenses and assess the market share of the various modes of transport.

This combination of initiatives has meant that the public transport system in Lyon (TCL) today offers many possibilities. Besides metro, tram, funiculars and bus there is also the possibility to rent a bike anywhere in the town. Bike rentals up to 30 minutes are free and subsequent hours cost between 0.50€ and 1€ per hour dependent on subscription type. However, the system is in practice virtually free to users, as over 90% of journeys last less than 30 minutes.

Subscribing to the city bike system costs 1€ a week or 5€ a year. The subscribers attains a credit card encompassing a deposit mechanism encouraging users to look after and return bicycles. It is also possible to choose taxis or taxi bikes for the price of a bus fare when traveling to a destination where there is no metro, bus or tram. Public space plans (road capacity, lane specialisation, quiet areas, etc.) will in time favour walking and cycling and discourage people from resorting to their cars.

Last updated Tuesday, January 21, 2014