Friday 7 October 2022

Running Round Rennes (4)

Mini Metro

The fbbs used to have one; it was mud coloured! They gave it away to a Church fund raising auction and it took Church helpers a whole evening to get it started after languishing unused for a fair few weeks! But our mini Metro is in Rennes! (Maybe the fbb's was a "Clubman"??).

Whoops, Forgot!

But before we embark on a remarkable odyssey of public transport delight, an apology. In his weary incompetence with yesterday's blog, you aged compiler forgot to include an example of Rennes bus timetables. Unlike many "horaires francais", these are vey similar to our UK standard fare.
The above is a bit of the C1 that we rode virtually earlier in the week. The "gutter" between the columns is where the page fold would happen on a printed leaflet.

Some of the frequencies suffer from "production-led" scheduling with buses running at "not quite" every thirty minutes - but the C1 runs every 7-ish Monday to Friday daytime so, no real problem.

Other "outer suburbs" routes are much less frequent ...
The 52/152 (above) runs roughly three times an hour but the minutes past are not consistent. The 152 is shaded yellow and provides fast services into Rennes at peak periods.

Rennes Metro
Like the bus timetables, the Metro "Fiche Horaire" does not show every stop, but the service on line a runs from about 0500 to 0130 with a Monday to Friday daytime frequency to dream of.
On Sundays you only get a palrty four minute headway from 0715 to 0029 approx.
But you do get timetables! Compare this with Manchester where tram timetables are utterly secret! Of course the leaflet has a route plan as well. Naturally!
All stops shown plus all connecting buses - standard practice.

Opened on 15 March 2002, Line A is based on the Siemens VAL (Véhicule Automatique Léger) technology. The 9.4-kilometre (5.8 mi) Line A runs roughly northwest to southeast from J.F. Kennedy to La Poterie via Gare de Rennes (served by Gares metro station), with fifteen stations (thirteen of which are underground).
Unlike line b which we observed, briefly, earlier, one of only two above ground stations is at La Poterie (eastern terminus) ...
... a mini Metro indeed ...
... complete with its own mini bus station!
The other open air station is at Pontchaillou two stops short of the western terminus. The line rises from the bowels of the earth to serve Pontchaollo ...
... runs on viaduct for a brief while ...
... before descending again to serve the last two stops ...
... Villejean Universiteh and the terminus, J F Kennedy, 

Although the final station is underground, accessed by stair, escalator and lift, the terminus is enthusiastically described on-line.

Dans la rue commerçante, le regard est attiré par une étrange dalle de verre, encadrée par des bancs au dessin très pur. En descendant dans la station de jour, l'impression première est celle de quelqu'un qui passe derrière la toile d'un tableau. Sous le « tableau de verre », tant pour la salle des billets que pour les quais, le traitement est sobre, car tout doit concourir, dans la station, à la mise en valeur du verre et de la lumière. Un escalier conduit directement au quai.
Le voyageur est accompagné par un rayon de soleil qui se reflète sur un mur « miroir » laqué. Les autres murs sont en béton brut, avec un coffrage très précisément dessiné. Une lasure claire, satinée et légèrement bleutée, les recouvre. Le sol est constitué de carreaux de grès cérame gris.


The trains are also mini but can carry 170 passengers!
A bit about line b will follow over the weeknd.

Meanwhile a look at fares.

If you are an occasional user there is a one trip ticket.
Your 1.5 euro gare is valid from time of purchase and for any number of journeys for one hour - the hour ends when you validate your ticket at the start of the final journey leg.

All fares are valid on bus and metro, there is no "penalty" as with some of the UK's tram systems where you pay extra to include trams on a day ticket.

A day rover is 4 euro 20 ...
...  (cheap as les frites!) and kiddies travel FREE until they reach their 12th birthday!
Zut alors!

Contrast And Compare
Stagecoach in Northampton publicises forthcoming changes.
How's your QR Code, missus? Are you taking the pills? Have you got any idea what Stagecoach is talking about?

Devon v. South Yorkshire, Contrast & Compare 
Stagecoach based in Exeter have been following the pattern of many Stagecoach companies nationally in cutting their commercial services and withdrawing from tendered routes. The County Council has now published a list of all the changes including timetables for many of the replacement services.
The last sentence is very encouraging!

There is a huge amount of detail to review, probably too much for an occasional and transient blog - but fbb hopes to cover some of the main developments in about a week's times.

 Next Variety blog : Saturday 8th October 


  1. Stagecoach South West’s (Devon area) licence has been cut from 475 to 427 vehicles (10%) by the traffic commissioner:

    1. According to official documents at the time of the offence stagecoach had a license for 475 vehicles however same documents state that stagecoach only had 388 vehicles in their possession (87 less than what they were licensed for) therefore I would argue that the cuts in service has nothing to do with the loss of 10% of their licensed fleet.

    2. Correct. No punishment at all. No effect on services.

    3. The point of punishments like this is not to affect service provision (which punishes passengers) but to restrict the ability of the operator to expand further without the TC being able to review they have improved and fixed whatever mistakes were made. Even in cases with smaller operators you will often see the TC ask how many vehicles are needed to cover the core service and keep the cut above this so services don't have to be lost (unless the issue is big or repeated). You may ask why the cut wasn't higher for Stagecoach in this case but given the huge grey area that this case addressed (the TC has effectively stated that the rules for route length are different for driver age than for driver hours) and the unique circumstances (this was a case of a manager driver not a regular driver and it is very rare for someone of such age to reach such a position - normally you have come via being a driver or out of University so in both cases you are over 21 before you are in such a position).