Toulouse (France)

Situated midway between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic and 500 km from Paris, Toulouse is the fourth largest city in France. With more than 700,000 inhabitants, it is also among the biggest cities in southern Europe.

The urban structure can be described as a set of concentric circles: the city’s historical centre, with its narrow streets and historical buildings, is the heart of commercial activities and is surrounded by urban boulevards. The outer urban area, on the two sides of the river Garonne, is delimited by a ring road. Beyond this, the conurbation is growing continuously.

Toulouse Airport, located 20 minutes’ drive from the city centre, is the fourth largest airport in France and caters for 5 million passengers annually (an increase of 48 percent in the last five years).

In recent years, huge strides have been made in terms of urban planning and infrastructure, including the metro system, car parks, bridges, ring roads, urban expressways and motorways, and the development of Toulouse Airport. Public transport services currently comprise one metro line, urban railway lines and urban bus lines. The first metro line, which operates with automatic vehicles, was opened in 1993 and a second one opened in 2007.

In 2007, a city-wide bicycle rental scheme, VeloToulouse, was introduced, with bicycles available from automated stations for daily, weekly, monthly or yearly subscription.

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