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Paris bus routes to be completely reorganized

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Sep 16th, 2016, 03:14 PM
  #1
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Paris bus routes to be completely reorganized

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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Sep 16th, 2016, 03:35 PM
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Thanks for your always helpful postings about Paris.

And more folks may want to take buses when traveling short distances inside Paris itself - the metro can be mobbed and you often have to walk a ways once inside the entrance.

Buses stop a lot more and on the surface and you can see the Paris you are traversing.
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Sep 16th, 2016, 03:46 PM
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Thanks for posting. Certainly makes sense. I've watched my own outer arrondissement buses become more and more crowded. Only the #26 can use a double because it doesn't wind through the narrow streets of central Paris. The heavy tram usage indicates also where the Paris population now resides and works.
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Sep 16th, 2016, 05:22 PM
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Thanks for update, K...please keep us foreigners posted. I'm sure I'll be back in Paris in a year or two, and we love the buses.

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Sep 16th, 2016, 07:09 PM
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I guess Uber came along just in time.
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Sep 16th, 2016, 07:41 PM
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Will the overall service remain the same? More capacity or less? Is there a cost saving projected or is it going to cost more?

If this were happening where I live I would be skeptical about the stated reasons and would suspect the changes and especially the elimination of routes were about the bottom line.
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Sep 16th, 2016, 08:23 PM
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Nice post. I rezalize I never take buses in Paris. The ones I could take are mostly in outer arrondissements or even beyond, and the waiting time is so huge that I usually go on foot. Sounds like good news to me !
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Sep 16th, 2016, 10:12 PM
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The following website will allow users to give their input on the various plans: http://www.grand-paris-des-bus.fr/

It opens on September 19th.

Nikki, the fact that buses are only 20% full going through Châtelet would indicate that redeploying the buses will greatly improve passenger loads and also cash flow, although public transportation runs at a deficit in Paris and always has. The whole point of public service here is not to make money, just to cost a bit less for the taxpayers if possible.
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Sep 16th, 2016, 10:16 PM
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According to the president of the greater Paris region, in any case capacities will increase 5% in 2017 and there will be 1000 new buses -- but most of these will be in the suburbs, because the fleet of buses inside the city is already quite modern.
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Sep 16th, 2016, 10:50 PM
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Thanks for this information, kerouac! I'm always on the busses in Paris, so I'll be studying the new routes carefully (though I'm ok for my next trip in Feb 2017).

s
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Sep 17th, 2016, 03:47 AM
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Damn! I just finally figured them out.
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Sep 17th, 2016, 04:54 AM
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Uber is a solution only for the 1% who are young and affluent. For others it only puts more untrained drivers in uninspected cars into streets with far too many cars already, slowing travel times for everyone.

"far too many cars" is not a snarky moral statement. I feel the same way about bicycles in Amsterdam, though they have fewer environmental effects. "Far too many cars" is daily gridlock. There are ways that Uber-type services could be useful, but the current model benefits only the few, as taxis and limo services do. Optimizing public transportation is the only real urban answer.

Uber, by the way, is hemorrhaging money. How long will they be around?
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Sep 17th, 2016, 05:53 AM
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"public transportation runs at a deficit in Paris and always has. The whole point of public service here is not to make money, just to cost a bit less for the taxpayers if possible."



I'm thinking that must be true most places. I was thinking more about government's propensity to cut expenses and services than anybody's profiting from such an operation.

Although commuter railroad service in Massachusetts is now contracted out to the French company Keolis, which must be sorry they signed up for it after our disastrous winter in 2015.
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Sep 17th, 2016, 06:40 AM
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Public transportation is meant to be a public service by the govt, not to be a for-profit enterprise, so the fact that it runs as a deficit isn't that unusual. It does where I live also, it's basically a public service and helps traffic congestion/pollution. A lot of public don't own cars, also.

There's nothing wrong with a govt trying to save money and be more cost efficient, in fact, it's bad if they don't review such things.

I do like buses to see the neighborhoods if a route is convenient, but some buses are extremely crowded at certain times, also, just like the metro.
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Sep 17th, 2016, 09:07 AM
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They go through this in London from time to time (they've just re-routed a couple of buses my way, which confused a few people today).

Quite some time ago, they decided they had to shorten the routes that ran from one side of the city through the centre and out the other side (pity, that was a good way of spending a rainy day in the school holidays), and then expanded a whole lot of local "hub and spoke" services. These things need doing as people's needs change.
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Sep 17th, 2016, 12:23 PM
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I don't quite get the remark that "Uber is a solution for only the 1% who are young and affluent". Affluent, maybe. But YOUNG, why? Uber works quite well for the OLD, too!
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Sep 17th, 2016, 12:40 PM
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"Uber works quite well for the OLD, too!"

A point driven (as it were) home by yesterday's announcement that the agency in charge of public transportation in the Boston area is starting a door to door service for seniors using Uber and Lyft to save money over the current van service.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/20...14H/story.html
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Sep 17th, 2016, 12:52 PM
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A correction to my post above is that the ride service in Boston is not specifically for seniors but for people with disabilities.
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Sep 17th, 2016, 01:14 PM
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The door-to-door PAM (Paris Accès Mobilité) service for the elderly and disabled is 7.80€ for a distance up to 15km and free for people with low revenue. Half the time, they just send a taxi parisien to perform the service and the rest of the time they use their own vehicles, especially for people in wheelchairs. It has existed for more than 10 years and I used to use it with my (disabled) mother all the time (free for the person accompanying the passenger). I don't know if Uber can beat that.
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Sep 17th, 2016, 01:28 PM
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Right, Kerouac, I doubt if Uber could beat that.

And Nikki, enjoyed the article from the Boston Globe. Sounds wonderful for people with disabilities.
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