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Paris bus routes to be completely reorganized

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Most of the Paris bus routes were set up 70 years ago and the two transit authorities -- STIF and RATP -- along with the city of Paris have decided that the 59 routes are no longer adapted to the needs of Parisians. There are too many routes in the center of the city and too many of them run along the same streets. For example, more than 100 buses stop at Châtelet every hour filled to only 20% of capacity. Meanwhile, there are just 10 buses an hour on avenue Marceau with a 108% load. The population of the outer arrondissements has increased considerably while the inner arrondissements have lost a lot of population as apartments are converted into holiday rentals.

Anyway, a lot of that is going to change. There will still be the 5 main hubs -- Gare Saint Lazare, Gares Nord/Est, Châtelet, Gare de Lyon and Gare Montparnasse, but many of the lines will become transversal between the arrondissements whereas at the moment 50 of the 59 lines go through the center of the city. Planning is still in the early stages, but the preliminary plan is to totally modify or eliminate 30 of the current bus routes. In the coming months there are going to be fierce debates in the mairies of the 17 arrondissements (1-2-3-4 having been merged administratively) as each area tries to get the best bus service.

Paris is not the only city to revolutionize its bus system because in recent years Lyon, Bordeaux and Barcelona have all done the same thing.

The current target is to finish all negotiations around the beginning of 2017 and to implement all of the changes in September 2018.

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