Trolleybuses in Lyon

Last updated
Lyon trolleybus system
Irisbus Cristalis ETB18 C3 Lyon TCL.JPG
An Irisbus Cristalis in Lyon, 2009.
Locale Lyon, France
Open15 October 1935 (1935-10-15)
Routes8 (+ 1)
Owner(s) SYTRAL
Operator(s) Keolis Lyon
Website TCL (in French and English)

The Lyon trolleybus system (French : Réseau de trolleybus de Lyon) is part of the public transport network of the city and commune of Lyon, France. Opened in 1935, it combines with the Lyon Metro, the Lyon tramway network and Lyon's urban motorbus network to form an integrated system.


Lyon was one of the first cities in France to experience trolleybuses. It is the capitale du trolleybus français ("capital of the French trolleybus"). In 1961, the Lyon trolleybus system had the largest number of trolleybuses ever to operate simultaneously in France (370 vehicles). In the 21st century, it has been a leader in the development of new trolley buses.

The system is owned by SYTRAL, and, like most of the rest of the four managed transportation systems, is operated by Keolis Lyon on behalf of Transports en commun lyonnais (TCL). Since 2006, it has been expanded by the electrification of two major new lines (C1 and C2). As of 2015, the system consisted of nine lines.


The Lyon trolleybus system is presently made up of the following lines:

C1 Wheelchair symbol.svg Gare Part Dieu-Vivier Merle <> CuireUTNyes   yes
C2 Wheelchair symbol.svg Gare Part Dieu-Vivier Merle <> Rillieux-SemaillesUTNyes   yes
C3 Wheelchair symbol.svg Gare St Paul <> Vaulx en Velin-La GrappinièreUTSyes   yes
C4 Wheelchair symbol.svg Jean Macé <> Cité Internationale-Centre de Congrès UTSyes   yes
C11 Wheelchair symbol.svg Saxe-Gambetta <> Laurent Bonnevay-AstroballeUTSyes   yes
C13 Wheelchair symbol.svg Grange Blanche <> Montessuy-GutenbergUTCyes   yes
C14 Wheelchair symbol.svg Jean Macé <> Les SourcesUTVyes   yes
C18 Wheelchair symbol.svg Hôtel de Ville-Louis Pradel <> Croix Rousse-NordUTCyes   yes
S6 Wheelchair symbol.svg Hôtel de Ville-Louis Pradel <> Croix-RousseUTCyes   yes


All of these lines, except line S6, offer a high level of service, and operate 7 days a week from 5 am to midnight, with frequent services on weekdays from 7.00 am to 8.00 pm (usually every 8 to 10 minutes, at most every 12 minutes). They provide an attractive and permanent service throughout the year, including during school holiday periods.

Lines C1 to C3 are equipped with a signal priority system, dedicated lanes for almost their entire routes, and high-capacity bus shelters fitted with ticket distributors.

The principle of these three lines dates back to 2006, and the creation of lignes fortes Cristalis ("Cristalis strong lines"), designated by the letter C. Cristalis was a model of trolleybus built by Irisbus. The principle was extended on 29 August 2011 to 23 other lines, some operated by trolleybuses, and the rest by motorbuses. The letter "C" has been retained a designator of these lines, but no longer has any other meaning.


As of 2012, the Lyon trolleybus fleet stood at 131 vehicles, of which 76 were rigid buses and 55 articulated buses:

Fleet nos.QtyManufacturer Electrics ModelTypeBuiltLine(s)
1711 to 17177 MAN/Hess Kiepe NMT 222 Rigid 1999S6
1801 to 186969 Irisbus Irisbus Cristalis 12 Rigid2000–2004C4, C11, C14, and C18
1901 to 1927
2901 to 2917
44IrisbusIrisbus Cristalis 18 Articulated 2001–2006C1, C2 and C3
2918 to 292811IrisbusIrisbusCristalis 18Articulated2010C1, C2 and C4

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Coordinates: 45°45′38″N04°51′34″E / 45.76056°N 4.85944°E / 45.76056; 4.85944