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Nice Buses 2024

The Nice bus system is fairly extensive as it connects all parts of town as well as the outskirts. (See a bus map) Buses are modern, air-conditioned and fairly comfortable as far as buses go. Yes, they can be quite crowded but the special bus lanes on major streets means they can get you to your destination much faster than a car especially during rush hours.

Convenient as it is, the buses don't hold a candle to the tramway for journeys between the Old Town and north Nice and between the Airport and central Nice. The tram is more frequent and runs longer hours. More.

The only bus journey that can be substantially more convenient than the tram is Line 99 that connects boulevard Gambetta with central Nice. It runs every 15 minutes between 9.30am and 7pm 7/7. And, it's a non-polluting electric bus. Check out this map:

Map of free shuttle bus

Hours

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Bus service starts early (around 5 or 6am) and finishes somewhere between 9pm and 1am depending on the line. Lines 5, 6, 7, 8 are coordinated with tram lines and run until nearly 1am. The rest end earlier. Frequency varies according to the route but is generally every 10 to 20 minutes. Buses are more frequent on weekdays and substantially less frequent on Sundays.

Airport Buses

Airport buses 98 and 99 have ceased operations. Instead, there's the Tram Ligne 2 which carries passengers from the Airport to Port Lympia.There's also bus no 12 which operates from the stop Airport/Promenade, rolls down the Promenade des Anglais and ends at Promenade des Arts. It runs from 5:30am to 9:40pm.

[More about ground transport from Nice Airport]

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Five things to know about Using Nice Buses

1. You must flag down the bus as it approaches

2. You should board at the front and exit at the rear door

3. You must pass the magnetic stripe on your ticket across the indicated spot on the validating machine even if your ride is a transfer. There are occasional checks and you will be levied an on-the-spot fine for not having a ticket or not having a validated ticket.

4. You may ask the bus driver to let you know when you arrive at your desired stop but only if the bus is not crowded with passengers. Otherwise, consult the list of stops in the bus or keep an eye on the sign at each bus stop. Some buses have a screen that announces each stop.

5. Before you reach the stop, you (or someone else) must press the red button fixed to poles so that an Arret Demandé flashes in red overhead the driver.

Prices

All tickets are valid on buses or trams.

Single Ticket

The price of a single ticket is €1.70 but only if you buy it from a ticket machine. If you buy it on board from the driver it costs €2 (the driver can make change). The ticket (Solo Secours) is good for all transfers that take place within 74 minutes but is not good for a return trip. You can then recharge this ticket at any ticket machine.

La Carte

This refillable card offers the best deal for visitors. It's available for purchase at any ticket dispenser or at any Lignes d'Azur office. There's a €2 refundable processing fee and then you choose either a pass or a multi-voyage plan. Under the latter, you prepay any number of journeys from 1 to 100. The price is degressive. The more you buy, the cheaper it is. You pay €1.70 for the first 12 trips; €1.50 for the next 13 trips; €1.30 up to 50 trips and then €1 for 50 to 100 trips. For example, if you put 15 trips on your card you’ll pay €24.90. Note that this multi-voyage plan can be used by more than one person which makes it ideal for people travelling in a group. There is no expiration date and it can be used for group travel. Just punch in the validator once for each person. As in the single-ticket, the card is good for transfers in the same direction for 74 minutes. The card must be validated for each transfer.

Daily Pass

There's also a daily pass for €7 which is economical if you'll be doing a lot of sightseeing. You can buy this pass at any ticket dispenser or Lignes d'Azur office. First choose to purchase La Carte and then choose the daily pass. To use the daily pass, stamp it in the validatating machine onboard your first trip. After that, you're good to go for as many bus and tram trips as you like for 24 hours. The pass can only be used by one person.

Two-Day Pass

The modality is the same as the one-day pass but it costs €13.

Seven-Day Pass

The seven-day pass for €20 is another option if you need to take a number of buses throughout your stay.

Buying Bus Tickets and passes

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Only the rechargeable Carte Secours for €2 may be purchased in cash on board from the driver. Drivers can give change. Otherwise, there are four ways to buy tickets and passes.

1) There is a vending machine at each tram stop in which you can buy La Carte and then choose the number of voyages on the multi-voyage plan or a pass. The machines do not accept banknotes, only coins or credit cards.

2) Sign up for an account at lignesdazur.com and you can purchase your tickets (except a single ticket) and passes online and have them delivered to your French address.

3) Pay in person at a Lignes d'Azur agency or an authorized distributor. Many tobacco shops sell tickets. In Nice the Lignes d'Azur agency has an office at 33 boulevard Debouchage. A full list of the distributors throughout the region is here.

4) Pay by smartphone. It's easy and practical. Download and install the app Nice Ticket for Android or Apple. Just plug in your credit card number. On Android you can buy La Carte and fill it with one or many tickets plus any pass or subscription (Nice residents only). On the iPhone you can only recharge a card you've already purchased. To validate the ticket or pass on the bus, make sure NFC is turned on and the screen is on. Place the NFC antenna (usually on the back of the phone) against the validating machine as follows:

Validating machine

If a ticket inspector asks to see your ticket, simply open the app. This method is convenient because you don't need to keep track of your card.

Planning Your Journey

The Nice bus and tram system is handled by Lignes d'Azur. It is not the most user-friendly system, primarily because timetables and frequencies vary so much from one bus line to the other. On the other hand, the buses are extremely reliable usually arriving within a minute or two of the scheduled time. Here are some planning tools to get you around the bus system:

Website
Your first stop should be the Lignes d'Azur website. Just plug in the addresses of your departure and arrival points and you'll get a precise timetable. Also important are the up-to-the-minute notifcation of service disruptions. Disruptions and detours are frequent because of strikes, construction work, demonstrations and the many events that take place in central Nice.

Telephone
Lignes d'Azur has a telephone service in which you can find out exactly which bus or buses to take where and at exactly what time the bus arrives at your stop. No kidding. Just call 08 1006 1006 (.06 per minute). Operators can communicate in English.

Smartphone
Lignes d'Azur has apps for iPhone and Android. The geo-location feature is most helpful if you don't know your nearest stop. Be aware that the app tells you when the bus or tram is supposed to arrive. It is not unusual for a bus to arrive ahead of schedule.

Nice Bus Changes

There is no more 10-voyage card. The new bus and tram ticketing system changed in 2023 and is more complicated. Click here for all details.

Last updated May 22, 2024

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