The Ville de Luxembourg listens to the voice of the people. That much is clear with changes to the city bus network being introduced on 14 March. A new simplified map is also being published.
In June 2015 the Ville de Luxembourg introduced major changes to its entire bus network. The task was monumental as the city sought to improve connectivity. One of the biggest challenges was redrawing the bus map itself. The complex new map caught the attention of designer and architect Jug Cerović in Paris. Passionate about schematic public transport maps, Cerović decided to attempt to redraw and simplify the map.
Cerović’s effort, posted on the transitmaps blog site, was brought to the attention of Lex Bentner, head of the Ville de Luxembourg’s Service autobus. “When we saw Jug’s map, we realised it was an improvement on the map we had. We said if we can get something better, then why not,” explains Bentner. Contact was made and Cerović came to Luxembourg to discuss the map and to negotiate how they could work together. Since then the two sides have exchanged ideas and feedback. “It was a constant dialogue, adapting the map to the particular needs of the Luxembourg City bus service,” says Cerović. “It was very pleasant work. The City bus service is very professional and committed to quality. They want to improve things and they are not afraid of change.”
Easier to read
The new map is unveiled ahead of changes to the service being introduced on 14 March. Cerović explains that it is much easier to read. For instance, it indicates the service frequency of a particular route in a very simple manner. Thick lines show that a bus runs regularly every ten minutes – so on these routes passengers can just turn up and wait for the next bus. The thin lines indicate a less frequent schedule, so passengers are advised to check the timetable.
The map also regroups several routes that share common characteristics – such as those that use the main corridor between the train station and the Hamilius. The routes that serve the City Center passing through Badanstalt and then head to either Cents or Beggen are indicated in brown. Buses that stop at the Fondation Pescatore and then go to Limpertsberg or Kirchberg are shown in blue. The routes that go west are labelled in magenta, and the routes that take passengers behind the train station are in a light green. “Those main routes are in bright, vivid colours, so that they stand out on the map,” the map maker explains.
“In order to unclutter the map, the information has a clear visual hierarchy. The vivid lines are the backbone of the network. Other lines are shown in pastel.” Underneath the bus route lines, in a faded grey, the broad topography of the city is indicated on the map to help users orientate themselves. “You get all the information you need, the streets and railway lines and a few pictograms to represent important services such as hospitals and bridges and the airport,” says Cerović. “Luxembourg is a particular city, with the fortress on the edge of the ravine with the river. We include these small hints so users get 3D information. The strong geography helps users navigate the network and the city.” Even the footbridge between the parc Pescatore and the new elevator connecting the upper city to Pfaffenthal is shown on the map, as is the City Shopping Bus, the free shuttle that serves the city centre from the Glacis car park.
The new map makes it much easier for users to follow the itinerary of each bus route. “There is no need to untangle the web of lines around the centre of the city,” says Cerović. Terminus stations are identifiable by block capitals to highlight the direction passengers will need to look out for when boarding a bus on each route. The names of city neighbourhoods, while not essential to a bus map, are written in pale grey to allow users to locate themselves in the city.
A simplified schematic indicating the four City Night Bus routes is also shown in a separate circle on the new map. “It is a time-limited network, so we didn’t want to clutter the main map or have any ambiguity. It just indicates which night bus line goes where,” Cerović says.
Changes to network
One major change to the network is the new number 7 route. Lex Bentner explains why this new route is being introduced. “When we changed the network last summer there were reactions from passengers. Some were positive and some negative, and some were suggestions to improve the network. We wanted to incorporate all the major suggestions that we thought could really improve the situation, into one new route, the number 7.” The new route connects Bonnevoie to the gare centrale, with improved frequency around the area of the rue du Laboratoire. It also connects to the banks and university and commercial centre, as well as the hospital and the Rehazenter in Kirchberg.
Route 24 has also been adapted to connect the Park + Ride facilities at Luxembourg Sud and Bouillon. “It goes through the Ban de Gasperich, which is constantly evolving,” says Bentner. To accommodate the new route and changes, the city bus service has had to hire more drivers. “We will not affect the working hours of the drivers. More buses simply means more drivers,” says Bentner.
Changes have also been made as a result of the service’s own analysis, after the introduction of the new plan and timetable last year. These include taking into account major road works and the route of the future tram. The new changes should improve punctuality. Full details of the changes can be found on a leaflet that is being distributed to all households in the city or on www.vdl.lu.
The major changes
Brand new route no.7
Route no.7 is the new route that will run every 30 minutes between 5.30 a.m. and 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday. It serves runs between Pulvermuhl and the Rehazenter on Kirchberg via Verlorenkost, Bonnevoie, the gare centrale, Hamilius and Kirchberg Nord.
This route has been adapted so that it connects Belair with Kirchberg in one direction and also with Strassen in the other.
Formerly a combination route served by the municipal no.9 and the national routes 167 and 195 will now be taken over entirely by the Ville de Luxembourg’s no.9 service.
Changes to the no.15 route mean the avenue Guillaume will once again be served by municipal bus. However, the bus will no longer serve the rue Marie-Adélaïde.
Changes have been made to the routes of the no.21 and no.24 buses inside the Cloche d’Or commercial park.
In addition, the no.24 route has been extended so that the bus also serves the P&R Lux/Sud, which provides an increase in capacity for passengers requiring transport to and from the Cloche d’Or.
New stops and changes
Selected routes will be served by additional bus stops, and some bus stops have been changed.