Paris (France) is a major rail, highway, and air transport hub. Île-de-France Mobilités (IDFM), formerly the Syndicat des transports d’Île-de-France (STIF) and before that the Syndicat des transports parisiens (STP), oversees the transit network in the region. The syndicate coordinates public transport and contracts it out to the RATP (operating 347 bus lines, the Métro, 8 tramway lines, and sections of the RER), the SNCF (operating suburban rails, one tramway line and the other sections of the RER) and the Optile consortium of private operators managing 1,176 bus lines.
The Paris metro is one of the public transport systems serving the city and its metropolitan area. Operated by the Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens (RATP), it has sixteen mainly underground lines, totaling 226.9 kilometers and 308 stations. Having become one of the symbols of Paris, it is characterized by the density of its network in the heart of the city and by its homogeneous architectural style influenced by Art Nouveau.
The first line of the Paris metro was built in the run-up to the 1900 Universal Exhibition, inaugurated a few months after the start of the exhibition. The network then rapidly became denser within Paris itself until the Second World War. More …
A central hub of the national rail network, Paris’s 7 major railway stations (Gare du Nord, Gare de l’Est, Gare de Lyon, Gare d’Austerlitz, Gare Montparnasse, Gare Saint-Lazare, Gare de Bercy) are connected to three networks: high-speed rail lines (TGV, Eurostar, Thalys, Intercity Express, Frecciarossa), normal speed trains (Intercités, Intercités de nuit, TER), and the suburban rails (Transilien). The Transilien is the commuter rail network serving Paris region through 8 lines, 392 stations and 1,294 km (804.1 mi) of rails.
A ‘regional express network’, the RER, whose five lines, 257 stops and 587 km (365 mi) of rails connect Paris to more distant parts of the urban area. In addition, the Paris region is served by a light rail network, the tramway. Opened since 1992 for its first line, thirteen lines are currently operational. The network is 164.4 kilometres (102.2 mi) long with 248 stations. More …
Paris is a major international air transport hub with the 5th busiest airport system in the world. The city is served by three commercial international airports: Charles de Gaulle Airport, Orly Airport and Beauvais–Tillé Airport. Together these three airports recorded traffic of 112 million passengers in 2019.
There is also one general aviation airport, Paris–Le Bourget Airport, historically the oldest Parisian airport and closest to the city centre, which is now used only for private business flights, air shows and a museum. Charles de Gaulle Airport, located on the edge of the northern suburbs of Paris, opened to commercial traffic in 1974 and became the busiest Parisian airport in 1993. For 2017 it was the 5th busiest airport in the world by international traffic and it is the hub for the nation’s flag carrier Air France. Beauvais-Tillé Airport, located 69 km (43 mi) north of Paris’s city centre, is used by charter airlines and low-cost carriers.
Paris’s bus lines interconnecting all points of the capital and its closest suburban cities. There are 58 bus lines operating in Paris that have a terminus within city limits.
The capital’s bus system has been given a major boost over the past decade. Beginning in early 2000, Paris’s major arteries have been thinned to reserve an express lane reserved only for bus and taxi, usually designated with signs and road markings. More recently, these bus lanes have been isolated from the rest of regular circulation through low concrete barriers that form “couloirs” (corridors) and prevent all other forms of Paris traffic from even temporarily entering them.
There are electric buses. Autonomous buses are also being experimented in Vincennes since November 2017.
Today in Paris, there are two types of vehicles allowed for taxi service :
– Taxis are the French equivalent London’s black cab. They do not have a distinct color, but can be recognized thanks to the taxi sign on top of the car
– VTC (French: Véhicule de Tourisme avec Chauffeur) are the equivalent of Uber or Lyft. They do not have a distinct sign as taxis, but the must hold a licence to operate as private drivers.
There are about 18 000 taxis and 25 000 VTC in Paris and suburban area. More …
The city is also the most important hub of France’s motorway network, and is surrounded by three orbital freeways: the Périphérique, which follows the approximate path of 19th-century fortifications around Paris, the A86 motorway in the inner suburbs, and finally the Francilienne motorway in the outer suburbs. Paris has an extensive road network with over 2,000 km (1,243 mi) of highways and motorways.
The Paris region is the most active water transport area in France, with most of the cargo handled by Ports of Paris in facilities located around Paris. The rivers Loire, Rhine, Rhône, Meuse, and Scheldt can be reached by canals connecting with the Seine, which include the Canal Saint-Martin, Canal Saint-Denis, La Villette Basin, and the Canal de l’Ourcq.
There are 440 km (270 mi) of cycle paths and routes in Paris. These include piste cyclable (bike lanes separated from other traffic by physical barriers) and bande cyclable (a bicycle lane denoted by a painted path on the road). Some 29 km (18 mi) of specially marked bus lanes are free to be used by cyclists, with a protective barrier protecting against encroachments from vehicles. Cyclists have also been given the right to ride in both directions on certain one-way streets. Paris offers a bike sharing system called Vélib’ with more than 20,000 public bicycles distributed at 1,800 parking stations.