Last Saturday, 4 September 2021, the transport company CTS in Strasbourg (France) presented the first new Irizar electric buses of the type “ie bus” with a special livery as part of the Strasculture art festival. These were designed by artists Célia Housset and Amandine Laprun, who were the “winners” of the online public vote held from 1 to 10 June 2021.
Following the vote last June, in which a jury set up by the Culture Department of the City and Eurometropolis Strasbourg selected four young artists from the region, the Compagnie des Transports Strasbourgeois (CTS) was able to present the first prototypes of these two designs on the occasion of the cultural event organised by Eurometropolis Strasbourg in the presence of the two artists.
Patrick Maciejewski, President of CTS: “The acquisition of these 49 buses marks a turnaround for the CTS bus fleet and we are pleased that it is accompanied by such a successful artistic approach.” Following the inauguration, the first two buses started service on CTS Line 10. 47 other vehicles will gradually be introduced in the upcoming months and will be mainly used on routes 2, 10, 13 and 50 of the network. Irizar e-mobility produces them at its plant in Aduna, Basque.
Emmanuel Auneau, General Manager of CTS: “Our company is a very present player in the daily life of the inhabitants of the Eurometropolis of Strasbourg. We see the “personal touch” of our trams and buses as a real opportunity to enhance the visual impact. For us it has been natural to promote access to culture and art. (…) We are delighted to continue this approach by launching the works of Célia Housset and Amandine Laprun on an unprecedented number of new, electric buses this year. Since 2011, 131 vehicles have already been transformed into ‘mobile supports’ for the artistic works of Tomi Ungerer (2011), François Génot (2012), Theo van Doesburg (2013), Vincent Godeau (2014), Gustave Doré (2015), young people from the regional association “L’aide aux handicapés moteurs” (2016) and Jeanne Bischoff (2018). This is a momentum that CTS intends to continue in the years to come.”
Already as a child, I always had a tendency to get lost. I would miss to get to the bus stop, take the route in the wrong direction and thus discover unexpected places. Because of these experiences, the bus is a powerful symbol for me. As a daily means of transport, it takes us to work or to our friends, but it also takes us to beautiful villages or to the edge of a forest where the path was just waiting for us. In creating this design, I wanted to share with you a little of my daydreams and the wonder I feel when I see a little piece of roof, the glint of a window or the rustle of a tree on a journey. In such moments, I imagine myself going to an unknown and strange destination, full of magic and mystery.
This proposal for a bus foil in the form of a temporal marker ties in with the memory of the spring of 2020, when wild life reappeared in the centre of many cities thanks to the cessation of traffic. It is also an attempt to bring together the poetic and the wild, which is too often forgotten and separated from our daily lives. It may be enough to encounter a wild animal to make us aware of our place in the world of the living. Not the wilderness from travel catalogues, but the very local wilderness of a natural experience just a short bus ride away. It can also be seen as a tribute to the movement of the animal world (including humans) that photographer Eadweard Muybridge collapsed at the end of the 19th century at the very moment the idea of inventing an electric omnibus was born. Animal traction gave way to electric or mechanical traction and became the most important vector of movement in our human existence.
CTS, Compagnie des Transports Strasbourgeois, is the mobility service provider for the Strasbourg metropolitan area.
with 37 bus lines, 6 tram lines and 2 BRT bus lines in 2021.