Bus Travel in France
The natural beauty and variety of the French landscape makes travelling through France by bus a pleasant, picturesque experience. While train travel has historically been France's preferred mode of transportation, the French Government has recently passed legislation that will result in widespread changes to France's travel industry. France's recently enacted Macron Law has initiated the deregulation of the French bus market and is expected to result in 5 million new bus passengers and the creation of 22,000 new jobs within the next year. The French travel industry will also experience a proliferation of long distance bus routes across the country as a result. While the development of an extensive bus network across France is great news for travellers, it should be noted that traffic congestion during school holidays may significantly increase travel times.
The deregulation of the French transportation market is also expected to result in a 10% to 70% drop in bus ticket prices over the next year as more companies enter the market. Specifically, British bus companies, such as National Express and Megabus, are expected to expand their services beyond Paris, while Flixbus, a German bus company, is also expanding their operations to incorporate select French destinations. France receives 14 million travellers from the United Kingdom every year, with 6.9 million people arriving by or using train services while in France. The Macron Law is expected to result in an additional 800,000 British travellers using bus services in the future.
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Popular Bus Journeys in France
The most popular bus journeys in France take place between Paris and other major French and European cities such as London, Amsterdam, Brussels, Barcelona, Lyon and Marseille. Travellers will appreciate the services running through the South of France including the A9 highway to Barcelona and the A7 ("Highway of the Sun") to Marseilles, which is regarded as the most beautiful highway route in France.
Major Bus Providers in France
The main bus providers operating in France include Eurolines and Ouibus. Eurolines is currently in the process of re-branding itself as Isilines in France, while also massively expanding their services to French destinations. There are also a number of regional companies operating in smaller, more concentrated areas like Les Cars Phocéens which runs a regular service between Marseille and Nice. Many of the large cities in France also have transit buses that provide reliable transport within their urban centers.
Onboard Facilities and Services
Depending on the company and the particular journey selected, onboard bus facilities can vary but usually include comfortable seating with reclining seats, air conditioning, toilets, Wi-Fi, and entertainment such as movies and magazines. Many of the bus providers also have handicap accessible buses for passengers who require assistance.