ROUTE 501 – BIOSPHERE BUS
The biosphere bus 501 operates hourly every day, connecting the city of Homburg with large parts of the Bliesgau Biosphere Reserve and running up to the village of Kleinblittersdorf on the French border. With a route length of 54 kilometres, it is the backbone of public transport in this region. Apart from providing a mobility service for the local population, it also offers visitors a climate-friendly mode of transport, serving as an excellent example for the promotion of environmentally friendly tourism in the Bliesgau Biosphere Reserve. In 2014, the biosphere bus 501 was recognised with the German “Destination Nature Award”.
The biosphere bus 501 operates seven days a week from morning to night. It runs from Homburg to Blieskastel, stopping in Beeden, Wörschweiler and Lautzkirchen (from here, connection to German Rail trains). The route then continues via Gersheim and Reinheim to Kleinblittersdorf and back to Homburg. In Kleinblittersdorf, travellers can also connect to suburban trains.
Along the 501 biosphere bus route, visitors can find numerous attractions and things to see and do, such as the idyllic “Blies-Grenz-Weg” border trail which hikers can embark on in Sitterswald. Culture lovers can stop off at the European Cultural Park in Bliesbruck-Reinheim. Getting off in Blieskastel, visitors can spend time exploring the picturesque, winding lanes of this baroque town.
(Using the “Saarpfalz-Kreis Freizeitticket”, the biosphere bus 501 enables particularly cheap tours of the Bliesgau Biosphere Reserve on weekends and public holidays:
The “Saarpfalz-Kreis Freizeitticket” is valid for all trips within the Saarpfalz region and the municipality of Kleinblittersdorf on weekends and public holidays. It cannot be used on NVG and Saarbahn routes. The ticket is valid for up to five people as a group day pass until the end of operations, costing EUR 6.50.)
Since 2001, a total of 23 'Destination nature' areas and the three major German environmental associations – BUND, NABU and VCD – and Deutsche Bahn have pledged their support to the 'Destination nature' initiative for environmentally friendly travel and sustainable tourism in nature hotspots. The aim is to shift travel in natural heritage sites that need protecting towards public transport rather than private car use. This will reduce CO2 emissions and make a proactive contribution towards climate protection and the conservation of biodiversity. Repeatedly, the project has had the honour of being officially associated with the UN Decade on Biodiversity. More information.