A new Tramway for Nice

December 16th to 21st December 2007

Our usual week in Nice before Christmas back home in the UK

My dear husband took plenty of film clips of the new tramway in Nice and posted it on youtube.com. Here are his efforts:

The Tramway Line 1 is finally open after years of building works and disruption. Our studio near the Port is about 4 minutes walk from the nearest Tram stop -'Garibaldi' which is just past Place Garibaldi and at the beginning of rue de la Republique. From our studio in Residence 'Port Nicéa' you walk past Place du Pin and along rue Papon to reach it.

I think the biggest difference it will make to us will be easy access to the main train station in Nice - Nice Ville Gare SNCF. It's a long walk from the Port unless you take the 30 bus. We are close to local ter network train station, Riquier but for the fast trains to Cannes, Antibes, Monaco etc, you need the main train station on ave Thiers.

The tram is part of the ligne d'azur bus network - the local network for buses in Nice and all information about the buses and tram can be found on the lignedazur website. Tickets for the bus and tram are the same and are priced the same, 1,30 euros (reduced to only 1 euro since 2008) or a 'carnet' of 10 for 10 euros. There are other passes to buy, see the site for more details. If you need a trip to the airport, you need the day pass which is 4 euros and it lets you use the 98 and 99 express airport buses as well as the ligne dazur buses and trams for the rest of the day. When you get on the bus or tram you must validate or 'composté' your ticket in the machine by the driver.

Sometimes you need more than one bus to complete a journey or both the tram and a bus to complete a journey. If you make the connection with 74 minutes it is still only the cost of one journey provided it is not a return journey or a second onward journey on the same line but you must still validate your ticket each time you get on a bus or tram.

When you validate your ticket, a date and time is stamped on the back. There are plenty of inspectors about to check tickets. When you buy a carnet of 10 tickets, each time it is validated, the date and time is printed on a new line at the back of the ticket so that you can keep track of its usage.

You can buy single tickets and carnets directly from bus drivers or from ticket machines (coins and credit cards) by the Tram stops and from the main ligne dazur office at 3 Place Massena.

Nice Tram line 1 (line 2 in the next few years) loops a big 'U' shape from Las Planas in the north, down to Place Massena close to Nice Ville train station (stop: Gare Thiers) and along the main city centre road, ave Jean Médecin (stops: Jean Medecin and Massena) and turning east at Place Massena (stop: Massena) to the Acropolis via the Old Town and Gare Routière (stop: Cathédrale-Vielle Ville), then back up north to Pont Michel.

The trams are sleek and quiet but have a bell that dongs in a quaintly old fashioned way if they are about to run you over. The roads are widened and the pedestrianised areas are bigger and it's a great improvement if you don't have a car - the traffic and noise is much reduced. The area around Place Massena is just about finished and looks great. Place Garibaldi is still a mess, a complete building site, but there is great activity going on and I hope it will be ready for the summer.

1 comment:

Evita said...

Hello - just wanted to say thank you for the wonderful information you have provided on your blog and your Nice web site.

My husband and I are will be travelling to Nice on July 9 and staying there for a couple of days, we then want to explore the rest of the French Riviera and continue down the East coast of Spain to its south.

I really appreciate all the transit info as we though we were going to rent a car, but your info on local buses and trams was great and now we are considering that.

Thanks again!