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lifes2short Mar 8th, 2010 08:03 AM

It's our last day in Paris, and I FINALLY took the bus !
My name is lifes2short and I'm a busophobic. Or I was, until a couple hours ago. This is just a quick posting for any others who may be reluctant to try the ratp bus in Paris. Listen to the experts who preach buses as the absolute best way to get from Pte.A to Pte. B in Paris [RIP, Robes]...they are right.

My excursion, which I mapped out (not sure one can "map out" a 12-minute busride, but anyway....) ahead of time online, was entirely too short (87 from Rapp-Bourdainnais to le Bon Marche, and back, of course) but it was just enough to whet my appetite. Several remaining tickets in my pocket mean a few more "rides" tonight !

So, for Paris bus virgins: I say give it a go---you'l be glad you did. And for those of you who always told us as much: allow me to say "merci," and I'll be joining your chorus from now on.

gracejoan3 Mar 8th, 2010 08:07 AM

It took me some time to use the buses, too! I now have a Navigo Decouverte...load it and use the buses almost all the time..rare for the metro. I stay in the Rapp/Bourdonnais area of the 7th..buses are so very convenient from there..if you do not want to walk..

You will now use the bus more often!!


adrienne Mar 8th, 2010 08:08 AM

Congratulations! I've only take the bus in Paris once and just followed someone else.

I've avoided the buses since I have no idea what bus to take. It's easy if you're going to a museum since the museum web site usually list the bus numbers. But how did you know what bus stops at Bon Marche for instance. Or what bus goes to Pere Lachaise cemetery?

Thanks from an old dog trying to learn new tricks! :)

Michel_Paris Mar 8th, 2010 08:12 AM

I'll bashfully admit to never having taken the bus. Metro/RER/shuttles/Air France bus...but not public bus. Alwasy figured easier ot Metro it, buses need to know stops,etc..

Maybe I need to be a big boy next visit and do it :)

StCirq Mar 8th, 2010 08:18 AM

I probably made 50 trips to Paris before I took the bus, but I'm a complete convert now. The RATP site has bus maps, and any one of the myriad Paris par Arrondissement booklets you can buy at any kiosk also has them. Every bus stop has all the information about the various lines that run on it, with all the stops described. It's not hard at all.

lifes2short Mar 8th, 2010 08:23 AM

Thanks, Joan--yes, we are in "your" hood and really enjoying it.

Adrienne, I had the same concerns/questions as you. So went back to an old bookmark of a thread started by the late, great Robespierre. I'm sure it's appropriate to paste it again here. Note: there have been other threads/posts with good bus advice--this just happened to be the one I saved.
Adrienne, the ratp site is completely interactive, so if you just plug in departure and arrival address info, you can get all the various options of transport mode, fastest time, fewest connections, etc. So it works for the metro as well.

In the case of Pere Lachaise, you can just enter that as your arrival "place," without needing an address. A new window will open, telling you how long to walk to the stop, how long on the bus (metro, whatever), how long to walk at the arrival end before reaching the cemetery.

I won't muck up Robes' notes with further commentary; he did a terrific job. Check out the link to see how easy it truly is.

Dukey Mar 8th, 2010 08:26 AM

I honestly thought the busses, despite their dedicated lanes, were periodically slowed down by other traffic. Not true?

adrienne Mar 8th, 2010 08:29 AM

I'm with Michel_Paris - I'm gonna grow up and try the buses. Lifes2short - you've given me courage.

Can you get a transfer on Paris buses? 2 transfers? From the Pantheon to Pere Lachaise I need to take 3 buses according to Paris par Arrondissements.

What's the word for "transfer" in French?

Wish me bonne route!

adrienne Mar 8th, 2010 08:33 AM

Ah...I posted the above before I saw the link to Robe's instructions. There are no transfers.

yestravel Mar 8th, 2010 08:58 AM

I love the buses in Paris -- such a great way to see the city. The RATP site is fabulous for mapping out your route. The buses may get slowed down sometimes by traffic, but since it's a vacation, never really noticed or been bothered by it.

avalon Mar 8th, 2010 09:02 AM

I love the buses in Paris ,much preferred over the metro.You can jump on and off if you see something interesting and are using a Navigo decouverte pass . I too map out my routes from the ratp website. I'm all excited because my fall apt has 3 different lines rightacross from our entrance.

Lutetia Mar 8th, 2010 09:07 AM

The bus is absolutely the best way to get around in Paris. The only exception is if you have a very important appointment for which you need to arrive exactly on time, you might be able to better predict your travel time using the metro.
But really, the bust is almost always easier, more comfortable, and all-around more enjoyable. It is often surprisingly quick to get from A to B.
You can find out which buses you need using the RATP web site. (interactive map)

lucygirl Mar 8th, 2010 09:21 AM

I too, need to transform from child to adult as well on my next visit. I've been twice but the the bus system just looked too confusing on paper so I stuck with the Metro.

Threads like this are often the kick in the pants I need to just try it already!

AnnMarie_C Mar 8th, 2010 09:30 AM

I agree-thanks for the encouragement. Buses are the one mode of transportation I have yet to figure out...and I've used them before but never, ever with confidence that I know what the heck I'm doing. We'll be in Paris next month and I hope to try, try again.

Nikki Mar 8th, 2010 09:47 AM

Yes, there are transfers on the bus. If you have a ticket that was purchased in a metro station, it is good for transfers on the metro and on the bus. For some reason, if you buy the ticket on the bus itself, it is not good for transfers.

This policy is new since the introduction of the new metro and bus tickets within the past couple of years. The Robespierre thread cited above must predate the change.

TimS Mar 8th, 2010 10:35 AM

To be more specific, the new t+ ticket allows bus-to-bus transfers up to 90 minutes after boarding the first bus. And, as Nikki said, you cannot transfer using tickets bought from a bus driver.

gracejoan3 Mar 8th, 2010 12:15 PM

Go here:

I entered # 42 in the slot and it gave me the 42 information to clikn and this is what I then received:

I can print this out the shown size or chose larger/smaller..whatever.

I print out a number of these for routes that I might use and put in folder for whatever use...some like these and can sometimes be easier to read thatn the Le Petit Parisien Bus Routes, that I also have.



avalon Mar 8th, 2010 12:48 PM

I wish I kenw where I put my Petit Parisien guide!! Thank god for the website!

adrienne Mar 8th, 2010 12:51 PM

Nikki - I would show my original ticket to the next bus driver? I don't have to ask for a separate transfer?

Judy Mar 8th, 2010 12:57 PM

adrienne, you just validate the same ticket in the machine as you would normally....if you are within the 90 minutes allowed, it will be accepted.

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