Increasing the public transport offering for a growing city

11 November 2013  •  Author(s): Michel Joye, Director, Transports publics de la région lausannoise SA (tl)

Lausanne – the capital of the canton of Vaud situated in the heart of Europe on the shores of Lake Geneva – is home to the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), the IMD and the Béjart Ballet, which together with other leading organisations underpin the city’s international reputation. In the world of public transport, it is also regularly in the spotlight for being the smallest city in the world to have an automatic driverless metro. Operated by Transports publics de la région lausannoise SA (tl), the m2 metro, inaugurated in 2008, has profoundly changed the face of the built-up area and transformed the mobility of an entire population. It has also proved at an international level that a city of fewer than one million inhabitants can justifiably claim ownership of such a transport system.

A veritable mountain railway climbing gradients of up to 12%, the m2 is the first metro of its kind in Switzerland. Covering differences in gradient of over 1,000 feet in less than 20 minutes, it has made its mark as an ideal solution for transporting a rapidly growing population very quickly, comfortably and safely. After four years in service, the m2 has already carried more than 100 million passengers in a population of around 300,000. Its success has paved the way for other major public transport developments which are now in the pipeline for Lausanne and its suburbs.

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