Introducing biogas buses into the public transport fleet

Basic Information

Mobility solution ID





Thematic areas

Clean & energy-efficient vehicles
  • Cleaner fleets


In a pioneering measure, Lille Metropole increased the share of clean buses in the city fleet.

Implementing sustainable mobility

In 1990, Lille Metropole began work on creating an urban bus fleet operating on natural biogas produced from the fermentation of sludge from a local sewage treatment plant. After a test period, it was decided to introduce a new fleet of clean vehicles into full service, the ultimate goal being to convert the entire bus fleet. 


By the end of 2005, there were 167 natural gas/biogas buses in operation (50 percent of the fleet). A new dual compressed natural gas (CNG) and biogas compression station was constructed, the first such compression unit in Europe, to supply fuel for these buses. This unit was part of a new bus depot designed for 150 CNG buses (100 standard vehicles and 50 articulated buses) and built adjacent to the organic recovery centre, which produces mass quantities of biogas, so that buses can fuel up on site. Certain lines were modified (with the installation of detectors, ventilation and lighting) to ensure bus operation and safety.

Infrastructure investments were partly financed by the CIVITAS TRENDSETTER budget (vehicles, depot and line modifications due to the use of biogas).

A technical study was carried out to evaluate the technical and environmental aspects of using biogas in the buses fleet.



Lille’s efforts to create a biogas bus fleet were certainly pioneering and set the trend for future clean and sustainable public transport. The measure demonstrated that, with adequate political engagement, substantial reductions can be made to the negative environmental impact of public transportation.

Lille Metropole demonstrated the technical, environmental and economical feasibility of fleet conversion on a large scale.

This fact sheet has been updated by a third party on the basis of available information (not by the city itself), therefore we do not guarantee any data with respect to their content, completeness or up-to-dateness.

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