Wednesday, 2 June 2010

On the Bus

Buses have always served outlying villages with school commuting based schedules. Back around the millennium time in London, the then Mayor Ken Livingstone revolutionised London's bus network by upping services, investing in new vehicles, introducing swipe cards for faster boarding and slashing fares.

Having previously researched buses as an option for airport or station transport it was possible if an early start, some waiting time and hardly bargain fares were accepted - around €6 plus per person just to get to Montpellier for example.

A bus revolution of perhaps equivalent proportions to London's happened in the Hérault this May. The buses have always been more like coaches, air conditioned and comfortable bar the cosy legroom in quite a few seats. Finding anything out about schedules was seriously challenging with fares treated like military secrets. Now timetables are available in tourist offices, posted on bus stops and are on-line at a new and informative Herault Transport website. The well advertised headline grabber is the €1 fare, including transfers to connecting services, for a carnet of 10 tickets (€1,50 for a single fare).

This made a day in Montpellier for two €4. This is less than the Mosson Parking Tramway deal we usually use and saves 80Km of car costs. OK, the journey takes 30 mins longer and you get to see quite a few villages and towns on the way, but otherwise well worth doing for a full day out.

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