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CDG to Gare de Lyon: RER vs Air France bus

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Sep 28th, 2013, 01:03 PM
  #1
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CDG to Gare de Lyon: RER vs Air France bus

I have read many posts and gone to the links suggested. I want to know if I have all the details correct and what choice you would make for your transport to Gare de Lyon based on my scenario. We arrive at 8:10a from Atlanta via Air France. We are traveling carryon. We have booked a 14:38 train to Dijon out of Gare de Lyon, but if all goes smoothly, we hope to catch an earlier train (11:23 or 11:58)

CDG-Gare de Lyon

Option 1
RER B to Gare du Nord/change to RER D to Gare de Lyon (9.50E)
Travel time is 1 hr 15 min and is approximately the same as Air France Shuttle when factoring in buying a ticket and changing trains at Gare du Nord.

RER train station is located between subterminals 2E and 2F-Follow signs for Paris par Train
If you take the RER B to Gare du Nord, you just cross the very same platform and the RER D will take you directly to Gare de Lyon, where a full battery of escalators and elevators awaits you. There is absolutely nothing easier than that (quote from a poster)

Buy tickets at a machine (with cash or credit card w/ chip) or from ticket office
PROS-Runs more frequently than AF shuttle (how often?), traffic not an issue
CON-ticket lines could be long, lots of walking/navigating after an overnight flight

Option 2
Air France Bus Line 4 direct to Gare de Lyon (17E)
1 hour 15 min depending on traffic could take longer
Departs from Terminal 2/Gate 8 every 30 minutes (I would appreciate more info on getting to Gate 8)
PRO-Can buy ticket from bus driver, scenic, easier after a long flight
CON-costs more than RER, could take longer due to traffic conditions, dropoff is not right at station (not a problem for us w/ carryon-but not great if you are luggage heavy)
foolforfrance is offline  
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Sep 28th, 2013, 01:54 PM
  #2
 
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I am sorry but the bus route and the RER routes into Paris are NOT in any way, shape, or form what I think anybody would classify as "scenic." And they are even less "scenic" if you are stuck in traffic or your train for whatever unlikely reason is delayed.
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Sep 28th, 2013, 02:01 PM
  #3
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Dukey1-thank you for pointing this out. I am forgetting that the RER is above ground. I only rode it once on my first and only trip to France in 2012. Used the metro for all other travel in Paris that was not by foot.
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Sep 28th, 2013, 02:59 PM
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As far as I can recall, the AF bus gets to use a special lane going into Paris; I could be wrong about that, but nonetheless, I've never gotten into a traffic jam on an AF bus. Maybe just lucky. And no, it's far from scenic, but it's a heck of lot less hassle and more comfortable than the RER after a long flight.

And unless AF changed the dropoff point at the Gare de Lyon, it's pretty much at the station - maybe 10 feet around the corner from the stairway up to the main hallway. There may even be an escalator there (I use a lot of train stations in France and can't keep them all straight). Maybe the Gares-en-mouvement website for GdL shows it.
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Sep 28th, 2013, 03:02 PM
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Take the EASY way...AirFrance bus to Gare de Lyon. No transfer hassles & headaches after a long flight.
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Sep 28th, 2013, 03:09 PM
  #6
 
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I really like the Air France buses. They are comfortable and the bags go underneath. If you want to save a little, you can buy tickets online at a small discount and print them at home. They do cost a little more than the RER, but are so much easier, especially if you have to change lines.

http://www.lescarsairfrance.com/en.html
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Sep 28th, 2013, 03:35 PM
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If I were going to an AF bus stop I would definitely choose it over the RER. Just a lot more comfy and easier IMO, especially when your alternative involves changing trains.
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Sep 28th, 2013, 05:12 PM
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There are no special lanes for buses from the airport to Paris. It only existed for a year or two as an experiment on about 6km of the autoroute.

If you take the bus then since it only departs every 30 minutes it could take longer to get to Gare de Lyon since the RER will depart about every 5 minutes. The work they've been doing on the RER B has increased the frequency of trains.

If you do take the RER then you have two choices for transfer. If you transfer at Gare du Nord then you merely get off and walk a few meters to the adjacent platform to take RER D to Gare de Lyon. If you get off at Châtelet-les-Halles then you you merely get off and walk a few meters to the adjacent platform to take RER A to Gare de Lyon. I'm not advocating for either the bus or the RER, just trying to explain both options.
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Sep 28th, 2013, 07:14 PM
  #9
 
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We enjoyed the (free) AF bus trip into Paris a few years ago. The driver was happy and singing the whole way. We had a few close calls, but nothing big.

As far as cost goes, Victor Cabs is reasonable and efficient. Much quicker than the RER.
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Sep 28th, 2013, 07:45 PM
  #10
 
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The AF bus is not free.
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Sep 28th, 2013, 09:23 PM
  #11
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Thank you to all who replied. AF bus wins. Will it be fairly obvious how to get from our arriving terminal 2E to the departure location for the AF Bus at Gate 8?
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Sep 28th, 2013, 09:30 PM
  #12
 
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I just returned from Paris and we took the AF bus to the city centre. There are no giant signs in the terminal pointing to the direction of the bus, but all the airport workers speak English, so even if you aren't fluent in French, you can ask anyone and they will point you in the right direction. Although it's about a 7-8 minute walk from Terminal 2E if I recall correctly. Best of luck! Paris is an amazing city (we go every year) so enjoy your trip!
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Sep 28th, 2013, 09:59 PM
  #13
 
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I rode the AF bus both ways and have also used the RER. Arriving with luggage the AF bus is the best way to go.

Here is the web site http://tinyurl.com/n7p8nbn.

The bus stop at CDG is clearly marked but you'll find it faster if you ask someone. It is actually called Les Cars Air France. Since your pronunciation will be difficult for an average French person I suggest that you write it down and show it to anyone behind a counter.

Also, I think that the bus to Gare de Lyon stops first at Gare Montparnasse. It stops right outside each station.
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Sep 29th, 2013, 10:29 AM
  #14
 
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The AF bus stops actually stops at Gare de Lyon before going on to its terminus at Gare Montparnasse.

For a map of where to catch it at CDG, go to this page and scroll down to the terminal map:

http://www.lescarsairfrance.com/file...il/L4_plan.pdf
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Sep 29th, 2013, 10:46 AM
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I think maybe the AF bus is free if you have a transfer on AF flights (free to Orly or vice versa), but I'm not even sure about that, or some ticket where you bought a TGV trip through them. It's not free for anyone into Paris except very young children, maybe Robert had some package deal or vouchers or is just forgetting.

If you know where it is by checking online in advance, it isn't difficult, all doors in airports are marked with their number you just go to it. They aren't called gates as far as I know, I don't know where that info came from. They are just called exits (sorties), and in most of terminal 2 (A-D), they leave from either exit door 5 or 6 (and from E or F, it is different). They don't just leave from one place in all of Terminal 2. Maybe they've changed and the info is exit 8 for some terminal, that's possible. I've never had any trouble finding them, there are signs as I recall. Should be near the taxi area.

Of course the bus can be delayed if there is a traffic jam, that can happen at any time, I've had that happen, sure, traffic can be bad in Paris going into the city. That is one reason I like the AF bus, it's one flat fare, regardless of delays. Once it happened that there was an accident on the road, and so it probably took us about 1.5 hours to get into Paris from CDG, and it was raining, so that is always a possibility.
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Dec 26th, 2013, 03:55 PM
  #16
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A very belated report on our AF Bus experience........excellent choice! Was relatively easy to navigate to the AF Bus Stop #4 to Gare Montparnasse and Gare de Lyon. Charged our card for 34E for two tix. We waited maybe 10 minutes. The bus was not very full on a Thursday morning Oct 3 at approx 9a. Traffic was not an issue. We met a lovely woman who resides in Dijon......exactly where we were heading from Gare du Lyon. She kindly helped us in the station to change our tickets to an earlier train.

Our return to CDG was early on a Sunday morning and we walked to an RER station near our St. Germain de Pres hotel. That was very easy and a great choice that day as I believe a marathon was being run and many people who came via the road were pushing it to make their flights. MInd you, we traveled carry on and that traveling light makes a difference when using metro/RER.
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Dec 27th, 2013, 06:36 AM
  #17
 
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It is always good to read about positive experiences with any of the bus or rail services to or from the airport because so many people are so worried about them for some reason.
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Dec 27th, 2013, 07:59 AM
  #18
 
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