Metro and RER
There are 14 Metro Lines in Paris and 5 RER Lines. The RER extends out into the suburbs. Paris is divided into 8 travel zones but tourists will find that 2 zones cover the best of central Paris. Ordinary Metro tickets are valid for 2 zones on the Metro and RER as well as buses. A single ticket costs 1.90 Euros and a carnet of ten tickets costs 14.50 Euros. A daily Mobilis pass for 2 zones costs 7.30€. Navigo monthly pass costs 73€, a Navigo weekly pass 22€. Prices go up every July. See the website www.ratp.fr for latest details. A word of warning- to purchase tickets many metro stations are fully automated so it means you must use your credit card , coins or notes in the machines. The person behind the counter is now just for information. The Metro runs from 05H30 in the morning to half past midnight. On Saturdays and public holidays it runs one hour later until 1.30 in the morning. Free Maps are available at most metro stations and cover the Metro,RER,Bus and Tram networks. Some maps are very small print. Tip : ask for Plan des Lignes number One which is a decent size. You will find that, unlike the London Underground, the colour of the line is not as important as the number of the line , to understand the system look always at the last station on the line to get the direction., in other words numbered lines get their direction from the last stop. For Example Line One ends in either La Defense or in Chateau de Vincennes. To change lines look on the map for the interconnections and then once on the platform follow the numbered lines or the word “correspondance”.
You can buy a ticket online aboen-paris.cyclocity.fr
1.70€ a day, 8€ for 7 days. Tel: 0130797930 for assistance in English 8am-10pm Mon-Fri, Sats: 9am-10pm, Suns 9am-7pm
Paris Buses are green and white with a big number on the front. There is a certain logic to the numbers for example any number in the 20s starts at the Gare Saint Lazare, 30s and 40s from Gare du Nord or Gare de L’Est, 90s from Gare Montparnasse. You can buy your ticket direct from the driver of the bus or use an unused metro ticket. Passes should be held over the machine or shown to the driver, tickets must be punched or composter in the machine next to the driver. Small buses must be entered by the front door but bendy long buses can be entered from any door. Bus Stops mark the times and frequencies of the buses. Tip: Many buses stop around 8.30pm but there is a night service called Noctilien from half past midnight through to 5.30am. Check your map or the bus stop for details. Some bus stops even have electronic signs indicating when the next bus is due.
Paris Taxis are a law unto themselves and are not standardized as the friendly London Black Cab. A legal Paris taxi can be any colour,make,shape or model but it must have a white light on the roof saying Taxi Parisien. There is a meter beside the driver. The front seat is usually reserved for the driver’s papers or his dog and is not for passengers. That means 3 people in the back. Some Taxis will however take 4 people. A Green Light means Taxi is available. A Red light means taxi is already taken. Estimated fare from CDG Airport to central Paris = 50€. Most journeys in central Paris cost between 6-12€ (minimum fare 6€).
Since July 2007 Paris has a public bicycle rental system called Vélib’ or bicycle freedom. You will see hundreds of stands dotted around the city with grey bicycles. These are intended for short term rental. You need to pay with a credit card and a pin number at the pay station next to the stand. The trick is to use the bike for only 30 minutes, return it to another stand and take out another bike for 30 minutes and repeat the process all day if necessary. This way you pay very little as the first 30 minutes is free. I hour costs 1 euro, an hour and a half 3 euros and 2 hours 7 euros. There is a fine of 150 euros deducted from your credit card if the bike is not returned or not properly put back. Tip: Ask a student or a regular velib user how to go about using them.