A Mode and Its Models: Parisian Bus

Special Report
By Arnaud Passalacqua

The conception and operation of a bus network cuts across various dimensions : rolling stock, staff, territory, demands of travellers, etc. In the Paris case, the need for indicators capable of accounting for these activities and allowing an improvement in the functioning of the network has been apparent since the beginning of the 20th century. The choice of such indicators, dealing first with finance and then speed, reflects the interest of actors but is strongly limited by the nature of a transport system which is not easy to control and is dominated by artisanal logic. Despite these difficulties, models progressively found their place in this world, most often under the pressure of external forces and not of the company itself. But models began to have influence on the configuration of the network itself only when the territorial dimension allowed by technical tools available since the 1970s integrated the process.

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