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Lyon's Transportation

The Rhone valley has always been a major axis for road and river traffic. Lyon has taken full advantage of this prime location by developing a network of exceptional infrastructures: Lyon Saint-Exupéry international airport with its TGV high-speed train station facilitating air-rail connections, the highly developed TGV network and freeway system. The urban transport network consists of over 100 bus lines, four metro lines, two funiculars, plus three tramway lines .

Saint-Exupéry International Airport, located east of Lyon, serves as a base for domestic and international flights. It is an important transport facility for the entire Rhône-Alpes region. Coach links connect the airport with the centre of Lyon and other towns in the area including Chambéry and Grenoble. With its in-house train station (Gare de Lyon Saint-Exupéry) the airport is also connected to the TGV network. The new Rhônexpress tram links the international airport with the business quarter of La Part Dieu in less than 30 minutes. The Lyon-Bron Airport is a smaller airport dedicated to General Aviation (both private and commercial). Having helipads, the facility hosts a Gendarmerie and a Sécurité Civile (civilian defence) Base.

Lyon has two major railway stations: Lyon Part-Dieu, which was built to accommodate the TGV and has become the principal railway station for extra-regional trains; and Lyon Perrache, which is an older station that now primarily serves regional rail services. In practice, many trains, including TGVs, serve both stations. Smaller railway stations include Gorge-de-Loup, Vaise, Vénissieux, Saint-Paul and Jean Macé. Lyon is connected to the north (Lille, Paris, Brussels, and in the future Amsterdam) and the south (Marseille, Montpellier, and in the future Barcelona, Turin) by the TGV. It was the first city to be connected to Paris by the TGV in 1981.

The City is at the heart of a dense road network and is located at the meeting point of several highways: A6 (to Paris), A7 (to Marseille), A42 (to Geneve), A43 (to Grenoble). The city is now bypassed by the A46. A double motorway tunnel passes under Fourvière, connecting the A6 and the A7 autoroutes, both forming the "Autoroute du Soleil". Prior to the construction of the bypass by the east, the tunnel was famous for its traffic jams, since traffic between northern and southern France, as well as from neighboring countries and local traffic all wanted to cross, Lyon being virtually the only low passage between the Alps and the Massif Central (extinct) volcano range. Lyon is served by the Eurolines intercity coach organisation. Its Lyon terminal is located at the city's Perrache railway station, which serves as an intermodal transportation hub that also includes tramways, local and regional trains and buses, the terminus of metro line A, the bicycle service Vélo'v, and taxis.

The TCL (for Transports en Commun Lyonnais), Lyon's public transit system, consisting of metro, buses and tramways, serves 62 communes of the Lyon agglomeration. The subway network has 4 lines ( A  B  C  D), 39 stations and runs with a frequency of up to a train every 2 minutes. The bus network consists of normal buses, trolleybuses and coaches for areas outside the centre. There are 4 tram lines ( T1  T2  T3  T4) since April 2009: T1 from Montrochet in the south to IUT-Feyssine in the north, Tram T2 from Perrache railway station in the southwest to Saint-Priest in the southeast, Tram T3 from Part-Dieu to Meyzieu, and Tram T4 from Mendès-France to Feyzin. There are also two funicular lines from Vieux Lyon to Saint-Just and Fourvière. Despite the existence of several systems and operators the ticketing is unified through a unique system. The Réseau Express de l'Aire urbaine Lyonnaise (REAL) project intends on promoting and eventually increasing, the usage of public transport means by commuters. The public transit system is complemented by Vélo'v, a bicycle network providing a low cost and convenient bicycle hire service where bicycles can be hired and dropped off at any of 340 stations throughout the city. Borrowing a bicycle for less than 30 minutes is free.
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