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French Basque’s Tram'bus Line 1 opens; open-loop payment to be deployed on Txik Txak network by 2020 [free access]

September 2, 2019

Passenger services have commenced on French Basque Country Tram'bus Line 1, a bus high level services/ bus à haut niveau de service (BHNS). The line spans 12 km from Hauts de Bayonne to Biarritz, covering 31 stations. The project has been developed at an investment of EUR130 million, which is financed by the state (EUR12 million), Department 64 (EUR10 million), the community of Agglo Basque Country (EUR15 million), the city of Tarnos (EUR1 million), and Syndicat des Mobilités (EUR92 million).


Irizar has supplied a fleet of 18-metre-long electric buses with a capacity of 155 passengers as well as the charging infrastructure. The buses can be charged at each terminus of Line 1 through fast chargers (3 to 5 minutes) provided by a pantograph as well as through slow chargers during the night at the depot.


The Tram'bus project focuses on the development of two BHNS lines. Line 2 will span 13.3 km from the city centre of Tarnos to the southern point of Bayonne. It will cover 31 stations (including five stations that are common with Tram'bus Line 1).


Line 1 is operated as a part of the Chronoplus network, which is integrated under the brand ‘Txik Txak’ by the Basque Country Agglomeration. Txik Txak is a multimodal transport network, which offers integrated mobility solution for Txalupa (two naval lines connecting Bayonne, Boucau, and Anglet), Hégobus (bus network of the South Basque Country), Cars Express (bus network in rural areas), Proxi'bus, Chronoplus, bicycles (rental and subsidies for the purchase of electric bicycles), etc.


The Basque Country Agglomerationlaunched an integrated smart card for the region in April 2019, which will be valid on all the modes covered under the Txik Txak network. In 2020, the authority will gradually introduce fare payment by smartphone, post-billing (billing at the end of the month depending on consumption), and open-loop payment (fare payment on board through contactless bank card) on public transport.


(1 EUR [Euro] = 1.11 USD)