Métro de Paris

Paris Métro - Métropolitain


Useful Information

photography
Typical Métro sign, Métro de Paris, France. Public Domain.
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Network in 1939, Métro de Paris, France. Public Domain.
Location: City of Paris.
Open: All year Sun-Thu 5:30-1:15, Fri, Sat, day before Hol 5:30-2:15.
[2021]
Fee: Day Ticket: Mobilis 2 zones EUR 7,50, Tourist Ticket Paris Visite Adults EUR 12, Children (4-11) EUR 6.
Ticket "t+": Single trip two zones EUR 1,90, Carnet (10 trips) €16.90.
[2021]
Classification: SubterraneaUnderground Railway
Light: electric
Dimension: L=214km.
Guided tours: n/a
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: mostly accessible
Bibliography:  
Address: Métro de Paris, RATP Customer Service, TSA 81250, 75564 PARIS Cedex 12, Tel: +33-1-3424.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

19-JUL-1900 first line opened to the public without ceremony.
10-AUG-1903 Couronnes Disaster, train fire, 84 killed.
1995 Paris Métro terror attack committed by Algerian extremists, 8 killed and more than 100 injured.
30-AUG-2000 MF 67 train derailed due to excessive speed and unavailable automatic cruising at Notre-Dame-de-Lorette, 24 slightly injured.
06-AUG-2005 fire on a train at Simplon, injuring at least 19 people.
29-JUL-2007 fire on a train between Varenne and Invalides, 15 people injured.

Description

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Art nuveau entrance, Métro de Paris, France. Public Domain.
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Métro de Paris, France. Public Domain.
photography
Cité station, Métro de Paris, France. Public Domain.
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Cité station, Métro de Paris, France. Public Domain.

The Métropolitaine de Paris, short Métro, is the subway of the city Paris. The name is derived from the name of the company which originally operated it: La Compagnie du chemin de fer métropolitain de Paris (The Paris Metropolitan Railway Company), shortened to Métropolitain, and again shortened to Métro. This is the origin of the word metro which became a synonym for underground railroad and is used worldwide. However, some say this name was derived from the Metropolitan Railway, the early London Underground company which opened in 1863. However, the London subway is today named Underground, not Met.

Opened in 1900 the Métro is now 120 years old. A total of 214 kilometres of railroads connect 302 stations all over the city, mostly underground. With 1.520 billion passengers per year [2015] it is the 2nd busiest metro system in Europe, after the Moscow Metro, and the 10th busiest in the world. Today it is operated by the Régie autonome des transports parisiens (RATP), the public transport authority. They also operate part of the RER network, bus services, light rail lines and many bus routes. The RER is a system of trains which has much less stations and is thus intended to commute longer distances.

Quite famous are the historic entrances of the stations in the center, which were built in the style of Art Nuveau. The first line, Porte Maillot–Porte de Vincennes, was constructed for the 1900 World's Fair (Exposition Universelle). The system expanded quickly until World War I and the core was completed by the 1920s. This is the reason for the uniform Art Nouveau architecture in the city center.

The Paris Métro is known for its density within the city limits, it has 304 stations, 64 of them have transfers between lines. Currently there are 16 lines and four more are under construction. The 16 existing lines are numbered 1 to 14 and 3bis and 7bis, which are named because they started out as branches of Line 3 and Line 7. On maps and in the stations the lines are identified by number and colour, with the direction of travel indicated by the terminus.

The Paris Métro is a very safe transport system, so it is the most comfortable and safe public transport for locals and tourists alike. After a fire in the early years there was only a terrorist attack in the 20th century. In the 21st century the number of fires increased drastically, though with no death toll. The reasons are probably a combination of the enormous amount of passengers, the age of some parts of the system, and vandalism.

Notable is Line 14 between Saint-Lazare and Olympiades which was opened in 1998 and is fully automated. It was the first fully new Métro line in 63 years, and the stations are at least a kilometre apart. It was also the first line with platform screen doors to prevent suicides and accidents. Automation is an important development and in 2011 Line 1 was also converted to driverless operation. Line 4 will be converted in 2022. During the conversion the lines are operated with a combination of driver-operated trains and driver-less trains.

While the density of stations in the city center is so high, that there is no possibility for further growth, a large expansion of the network is currently under construction outside Paris city limits. Grand Paris Express consists of 4 new orbital Metro lines (15, 16, 17 and 18) around the Île-de-France region. Minor extensions are under construction on lines 4, 11, 12 and 14.