- Travel in France
- Where to go
What to see and do
- the connoiseur's guide to France
coach services in France
TER bus operated by the SNCF in the framework of regional public
Long-distance bus or coach services are new in France. Until 2015 there
were virtually none, other than interregional services or international
services passing through France.
That has all changed now, thanks to Emmanuel
Macron who, before he was president, vowed to liberalise long-distance
coach travel in France which had previously been a state monopoly.
Since 2015, intercity coach services have sprung up all over France,
specially on routes not served by TGV train services.
A full range of low-cost domestic
coach services is now provided by three main intercity coach
or bus service operators, Ouibus, Isilines and Flixbus.
all these operators can be bought without any supplement on the Trainline.com
website - which also has international buses from London to Paris.
To see just buses,
select the "By bus"
tab at the top band of the booking page. Note: bus prices are probably,
but not always, cheaper, and the journey times are usually quite a bit
Within France, coach services also exist at a regional
most French cities have an "autogare" or a "gare routière" -
station - with regular services within the region, and sometimes
further afield. Bus services most frequently cover routes for which
there is no train service, and are sometimes run by or for the SNCF,
French railway operator. These services appear in the railway
timetable, and cost the same as trains, but may be subsidesed.
One region with good and extensive intercity coach
(PACA) region, with routes linking Marseilles
Briancon and other cities. Further information on services in
this region is available on Info-LER
Some regions and departments subsidise their local public bus
services, both in the name of public service and as a way to reduce the
number of cars on the road. An example is the department of the Gard,
you can travel anywhere in the department for a flat fee of 1 €uro.
Urban bus services
in French cities
most, if not all, French cities, urban bus services are provided at a
flat-rate charge for individual journeys. Just buy a ticket from the
driver when you get in. It will not normally cost more than a Euro -
maybe as little as 20 cents, it depends on the town - and will be valid
for one journey or one hour's travel. Many cities have bus services
that operate well out into the suburbs or even the country. For
instance, in Nice, a city bus ticket will get you out to Villefranche
Many towns offer season tickets or passes on
their bus services, though these are generally designed for residents,
including students, are nominal, and require a photo.