With the advent of deregulation of the French bus and coach industry in 2015 coach travel has now become a more affordable option to travelling in and around France than by train.
Most departments have a good network of local bus services operating around the major cities which often extend into the outer suburban areas and surrounding countryside.
Individual journeys are charged at a flat-rate and tickets are purchased from the driver when you board the bus. In some cities, bus and coach, tram or metro services can be interlinked so that a single ticket can be used on several modes of transport. Multi-journey day passes and other types of passes are available and can be purchased from ticket machines at tram stops, metro stations and sales agents which are often situated in the tabacs presse around the towns. Season tickets can be purchased for regular travel from the bus operators and normally require a photo.
Bus and coach operators
SNCF (the French national rail system) also operate some of the regional bus services, replacing under used train lines and complementing existing routes. Details of routes and timetables can be found on their website
Whilst travelling throughout France is still best effected by train, it is now possible with the emergence of long distance coach operators offering notably cheaper rates, to consider coach travel as an alternative. Two companies offering national and international travel are Alsa and Eurolines, for more information click on their name.
For a list of departmental rural bus and coach networks in France visit Europe Bus Pass, a comprehensive site offering coach and bus travel information across Europe.