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Florian Bonet
Ingénieur Systèmes - BU Rail
Published on September 19, 2019

Reading time : 3 min

Lyon’s BRT line C3 innovates along the line!

On this project, Egis contributed innovative technical solutions to regulate traffic flows in order to fulfil the efficiency requirements of the transport network managed by the Sytral* whilst also catering to the needs of other forms of mobility.

Aménagement de la ligne de bus C3 en site propre entre Lyon et Villeurbanne

- Crédits : VP

In Lyon, the bus rapid transit (BRT) system on line C3 are now fitted with a traffic light priority that uses the GPS positioning of buses and a radio-enabled “bus/junction controllers” dialogue. To allow all transport modes to coexist, several innovative crossroad operating systems have been deployed.

Bikes in the slipstream of buses

As part of the construction of a dual bus lane for the C3 bus, which we are project-managing, the line’s crossroads have been equipped with R19 lights, a first for the greater Lyon region!

The principle of these new-generation lights is straightforward: allow cyclists to take advantage of buses travelling through the lights so that they can continue riding without stopping, the aim being to promote safe and free-flowing green transport. In concrete terms, this involves a new “yellow bike” light which flashes to indicate that bikes can continue, whilst cars must remain at a standstill at the lights. Eleven Lyon crossroads with traffic lights were fitted with R19, out of a total of 38. And this has produced the desired effect: at the foot of the Incity tower, there are now 450 bikes, compared with 300 motor vehicles during rush hour!

Interfacing buses and trams for greater efficiency

At the Lafayette / Thiers crossroads, a junction well-known to Lyon residents for its congestion, we recommended the deployment of a smart interface between rail signalling and traffic lights, which now enables trams and C3 to operate simultaneously in total safety. No more endless waiting at the lights! When no buses are approaching, pedestrian and bike lights are at green, in substitution for C3, to optimise the lights and make them more credible for these vulnerable users.

Tram headways were also optimised to enable smooth operations between T1, T4 and C3. Since then, despite the fact that line C3 has been added to this crossroads, not only have conditions not worsened as might have been feared, but they have improved!

« Free green » for better fluidity

To enable even smoother and efficient traffic flows, we persuaded the Greater Lyon Council to test out a new type of operation for a BRT, with the introduction of “free green”.

Usually, BRTs (and trams) travel over crossroads in isolation, with other road users waiting at the red light. On line C3, we put forward and implemented a new type of crossroad operation, subsequently reproduced by the Lyon authority on rue Garibaldi, to improve the journey times of buses running along it: this met with conclusive results, according to Keolis Lyon, the operator of the city’s TCL transport network.

This new system now allows buses, taxis and bikes to cross the crossroads at the same time as the flow of contraflowing vehicles. This delivers a clear improvement in the fluidity of traffic flows, bus priorities and bike movements!

Le vert gratuit : "free green"

* Greater Lyon public transport authority

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