Friday 11 April 2014

From Surf to Star [2]

Wikipedia tells us the the rural and inter urban bus povider in Rennes (map, bottom right) ...
... is called Illenoo ...
... is pronounced "eel" "eh" "noo" and is made up of the french words il (he), et (and) plus nous (we/us). So Wiki says the name means "he and us"; which doesn't sound right. The French are very inventive with their transport name and logos and, normally, they are cleverly sensible. fbb thinks Wikipedia is wrong. Shock horror; how could he make such  derogatory assertion. Wash your mouh out with "savon", fbb!

Buses in France are run exclusively by local authorities who invite bus operating companies to tender for the rights to run the whole network. The département (roughly equivalent to a UK county) round Rennes is ...
... named after two rivers.

The Ille is a small river in Brittany, France, right tributary of the river Vilaine. It flows into the Vilaine in the city Rennes. The Ille is linked to the river Rance by the Canal d'Ille-et-Rance. By this canal, Rennes has a connection with the English Channel coast at St. Malo. The canal is used primarily for tourist boats. The Ille flows through the department Ille-et-Vilaine and the following towns: Montreuil-sur-Ille, Betton and Rennes. From Montreuil to Rennes the river runs parallel to the Canal d'Ille-et-Rance.

River Ille at Rennes

So, more likely, the bus brand name means "Ille" and us.

Back to the buses. On-line, fbb has found the service 9A which trucker Dave was examining at Saint Aubin de Cormier. See "From Surf to Star [1]" (read again). The route runes from Rennes north east to Fougères following the E3 road. Like the bus stop visited by our Europe correspondent, the Illenoo web site has an excellent network map of which this is an extract.
Rennes is on a contiuation of the greenish line bottom left.

Unhelpfully the bus stop at Saint Aubin only had a departure list, confusingly with different days' journeys all mixed up; and fbb was beginning to think on-line only offered a journey planner.
The screen above looked hopeful, but ...
... only provided a selected block of times, delivered in a very wasteful style. Disppointing. But ...
... this button delivered a PDF timetable.
click to enlarge the timetable

Additionally, there is a full fare table ...
... of which this is an extract. To accompany this is a table showing the various discounts, season tickets etc derived from the five basic fares. So with a bit more effort tham we are used to "en France", we can arm ourselves with all the information we need for out intended but theoretical journey. Illenoo also produce printed leaflets.
In fact, trucker Dave just photographed a couple of departures.
... one in each direction.
L'Irisbus Ares est un autocar mixte (ligne ou excursion), conçu, à l'origine, sous la coupe de Renault V.I.. Le premier modèle est présenté en octobre 1999. Il était fabriqué en France, à Annonay, et en République tchèque, dans l'usine Karosa, pour certaines versions. Une version grand tourisme, sur châssis de 15 mètres, à trois essieux, voit le jour en 2004. Cette version est fabriquée dans l'usine tchèque d'Irisbus, à Vysoké Mýto (ancienne usine Karosa). La hauteur maximale est portée à 3,60 m. D'une capacité de 71 places, les Ares 15N peuvent être équipés de la vidéo, de toilettes, de la climatisation et de caméras à l'arrière pour faciliter les manœuvres.

Illenoo appear to have a mixture of two and three axle step-entrance "semi-coach" vehicles. Experts will be able to correct fbb's and trucker Dave's inadequate knowledge.

Whilst public transport in urban areas is usually good, main road links like the 9A (which is better than many) can be variable. What about the more rural destinations round Saint Aubin de Cormier?
What operates to Livré sur Changeon, for example?

Answer, not a lot!
Com'Onze is a loose federation of "Communes" (villages and/or small towns), eleven of them, (onze!). "Comme d'habitide" this group runs the public transport for the whole area and it, too, has a stylish brand.
But the service provided is only this ...
... a demand-responsive (i.e. pre-book) minibus. Livré is no tiny hamlet; it even has shops and a popualtion of 1600!
And proper bus stop signs ...
... but only phone numbers for the Taxi!

We may complain; indeed we are right to complain, about the decline in rural transport in UK. BUT, we still have the privilege of, probably, the best rural bus network in Europe (if not the world!), perhaps with the exception of the Netherlands.

Use it or lose it!

 "From Surf to Star" continues on Monday 
The curse of the left hand drive double deck!
Recently fellow blogger Busing spotted this dinky left hand drive midi-bus operated by Centrebus.
And a day or two ago, Plymothian Transit reported a special Easter offer from City Bus ...
... complete with dual door left hand drive double decker.
It must be fun loading in Royal Parade ...
... the centre of Plymouth!
 Next bus/rail blog : Saturday 12th April 


  1. Although, rural network in the UK is bigger than one in France or Italy it is definitely not as big or frequent as in countries such as Czech republic or Slovakia.
    I think that the main problem with the rural network in the UK is its speed & the availability & frequency of the train network which really does cover most of the areas of a country with decent frequencies.

  2. Interesting that I-et-V still has graduated fares as many French departments now have flat fares on their rural networks - which can give some bargain rides in some places. (-: