Friday 4 October 2013

Mr Darcy Cuts the Mustard [3]

Jeepers Creepers, where'd ya get those peepers?
Jeepers Creepers, where'd ya get those eyes?
Gosh all git up, how'd they get so lit up?
Gosh all git up, how'd they get that size?

A liana (creeper) is any of various long-stemmed, woody vines that are rooted in the soil at ground level and use trees, as well as other means of vertical support, to climb up to the canopy to get access to well-lit areas of the forest. The French for "liana" is "liane".
Five bus routes in Dijon are called "Lianes".

5 Lianes, lignes à niveau élevé de service. Itinéraires et horaires simples en journée. Ces lignes desservent les quartiers et communes les plus denses de l’agglomération et ses principaux équipements.C’est l’armature du réseau.

They are "the armature of the network", frequent all day routes ...

Avec les Lianes, vous pouvez compter sur un bus :
• Toutes les 3 à 10 min en journée
• De 5h30 à 0h15 du lundi au samedi
• Toutes les 30 min après 21h et le dimanche matin
Les LIANES totalisent plus de 80% de la fréquentation du réseau DIVIA!

... providing 80% of the Dijon bus service. Creepers? These "main line" routes are usually operated by articulated vehicles.
In essence the "Liane" is a brand for the five main cross city services. Less frequent routes are designated "B" in publicity but not on the vehicles.
Like David's 18 (see yesterday's blog - here), these are usually operated by fixed-wheelbase single deck buses.
The exception is the B23. This provides a 30 minute frequency from Chenôve to "Les Ateliers" ...
... which is the central works and depot for the Divia network ...

... built on the site of a disused railway wagon repair yard.
B23 is operated by minibus.
Then there are two routes coded "F" ...
  ... for "Flexo". These serve huge industrial estates ...
... with flexible destinations, served on request. Finally in the lettered series, there are routes labelled "P".
These are pre-book buses running mainly for Monday to Friday shift times. A look at part of the P30 route will show why the timetable is minimalistic and pre-booking is essential!
That about wraps it up for the bus network. There are, of course, school services; and, as usual, these have their own stylish brand complete with timetables and detailed route maps.
For the time being, fbb will tease his readers with three specifically branded routes. The challenge (to be answered in a later blog) is to guess what is special about each from its logo. Using the internet is deemed to be cheating!

The last of the four should be easy.

What is absolutely clear is that there is a style, a "panache" about French public transport that is second to none. Of course the whole caboodle is heavily subsidised. fbb does not have the exact figures  for Dijon, but for a typical network, the fare covers no more than 30% of the real cost of a journey. The French are more heavily taxed than we Brits but they do "bus" in style.

Those who consider that UK bus services need to be better could well consider the French model; but before progressing with too much enthusiasm, it is wise to consider the cost!

 Next Dijon Blog : Saturday 5th October 

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