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Bus, Metro, RER, Noctilien and Vélib' in Paris
Paris is well served by public transport. It has the Metro underground subway system, a tramway, buses and night bus (noctilien), the Velib' bikes and river Batobus. Plus the RER regional train service that extends to the suburbs and the Ile de France...
Paris Public Transport Network
RATP is the public transport authority for Paris. It operates the Metro (subway) lines (14 lines identified by colour), the RER (Réseau Express Régional) suburban express railway (lines A, B, C, D and E), the Noctilien (night buses), Orlyval airport rail connections, the Tramway and Montmartre funicular.
The RER connects Paris and the Ile de France regions with the Metro system and the SNCF (Société National des Chemins de Fer) main-line railway.
- Maison de la RATP (enquiries)
At: 54 quai de la Râpée
Tel: 32 46 Monday to Friday 07:00-21:00. Weekends 09:00-17:00. Recorded message (in French) outside these times.
- For a full, interactive map of all RATP service: Click here
- For information on all types of transport (RER, Metro, Tramway, Bus, Noctilien and Transilien: Click here
- Metro for trips to Paris and nearby suburbs
- RER for Paris and suburbs
- SNCF for suburban Paris and intercity connections
Save proof of payment, the RATP fare inspectors make frequent visits on bus, metro and RER lines. Fines must be paid if a passenger fails to produce proof of payment. Other infractions include: smoking where prohibited; unauthorised filming or taking of photographs; and vandalism.
There are a variety of tickets and pass cards available depending on a commuters needs. Tickets and passes are sold in all Metro and RER stations, and can be bought at a ticket counter or from a vending machine. Newsagents (presse), bookshops and tobacconists (tabacs) displaying the RATP logo also sell tickets. Bus tickets for a single trip can be bought from the driver.
There are also special packages for visitors; these include the Paris Visite visitors pass which allows for travel on all transport for a fixed period.
Paris transport passes: the t+ ticket
The Paris t+ ticket allows for travel on:
- The entire metro system and the Montmartre funicular
- RER (RATP and SNCF-run lines) in Paris
- Parisian and suburban RATP buses (except lines with special rates such as the Orlybus and Roissybus)
- Most bus lines belonging to the Optile network (a group of private bus companies serving the larger suburban area)
- The Noctilien night bus service (transfers not included)
- Transfers from one bus to another or from buses to trams
- Transfers from one line to another on the metro and RER system within Paris
The ticket is stamped for each bus or tram journey. The ticket allows for one or several transfers to be made during an hour and half between the first and last validation of a ticket
- For full details on the t+ ticket: Click here (in French)
- If you travel to the suburbs, check the zone of your destination and make sure that you pay the appropriate fare before you board. Failure to do so may leave you stuck at the turnstile on exit
- All tickets must be validated. This is done automatically upon entering the metro turnstile. Buses are equipped with ticket punching machines at the front of the vehicle
- Interactive and metro maps are available on the RATP website: Click here
Metro "How to"
- At the turnstile/barrier, insert your ticket in the first slot and recover it from the second
- Follow the signs to the appropriate line and platform. Blue boards indicate the line number, direction, next stations and interchanges
- To board a train, simply lift the handle or press the green button on the door (newer models have automated doors)
- Track your itinerary using the station maps displayed inside each wagon. If you transfer to another line, look for the sign marked CORRESPONDANCE
- At your destination, follow the sign marked SORTIE. Larger stations have multiple exits each usually distinguished by a street name. An area map is posted near each exit
- Line 7: fork at Maison Blanche: Service for each direction alternates, but lights on the front of the train indicate the destination
- Line 7bis: one-way service: Limited service for stations after Botzaris
- Line 10: one-way service: Limited service for certain stations between Eglise d'Ateuil and Mirabeau
- Line 13: fork at La Fourche: Service for each direction alternates, but lights on the front of the train indicate the destination
- Search métro times
In Paris proper, riding the RER can be faster than the riding the Metro because of the limited number of stations.
Signs on the platform indicated the direction and monitors on the platform indicate the next departures. Trains to the suburbs, don't necessarily stop at all stations on the line. Lighted boards on the platform indicate the next train's route; routes for all other trains are posted on RER schedules near the ticket windows. There is no specific first-class seating.
Buses run from approximately 07:00-20:00. Exact hours vary according to each bus line with some operating until 00:30. Many do not run Sundays or holidays.
Bus route maps are posted at the bus stops. A single ticket is required to ride most bus lines. An additional ticket is required for each transfer. Special fares apply to Orlybus, Roissybus, Noctilien and Balabus.
The city's periphery is served by 3 bus lines that make up the Petite Ceinture (Little Belt), or PC. A single ticket is required to ride any one of these. On Sunday and holidays, Balabus departs from the Gare de Lyon for a 2-hour tour of the city terminating at the Grande Arche de la Défense.
The Noctilien night bus network of buses runs from 00:30-05:00, on 42 lines throughout Ile-de-France.
For bus times:
- Call 3246 state your departure location and destination and the voice server will provide bus details
- SMS: 61064**
- Search bus times
A four-line suburban light rail service runs between various points (see below). Only one ticket is required.
- T1 Gare de Saint-Denis / Noisy-le-Sec
- T2 La Défense / Issy-Val de Seine
- T3 Pont du Garigliano et la Porte d'Ivry
- T4 Bondy RER / Aulnay sous Bois
- Search tramway times
Batôbus is a "bus boat" which serves eight stops along the River Seine and operates nearly year-round, with a break in January. Boats leave every 15 to 20 minutes. Stops include the Eiffel Tower, Champs-Elysées, Musée d'Orsay, Musée du Louvre, St-Germain-des-Prés, Notre-Dame, Hôtel de Ville and Jardin des Plantes.
At: Port de la Bourdonnais (Arr 7). Metro: Bir-Hakeim
Tel: 01 44 11 33 99
Vélib' (free bike) is a bike rental system operating in Paris. Bicycles are available for rental 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from "bike dispensing" depots throughout the city. Bikes have protective mudguards, handlebar baskets and lights for night riding. Helmets are not provided.
Use the touch screen at a bike station (station Vélib') to pay for and release a bike. Return the bike to any depot across. Subscription cards are available for one day, seven days or a year; these provide a discount.
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