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Paris Metro accessability for mobility challenged


Paris Metro accessability for mobility challenged

Old Nov 19th, 2014, 08:31 PM
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Paris Metro accessability for mobility challenged

I've been researching transport options for my stay in Paris. I am somewhat mobility challenged and I suspect I shall be using buses rather than the metro. I'm not wheelchair bound but I do find huge amounts of stairs challenging with a walking stick.

I have looked at Infomobi etc. They appear to be focused on access for those who are wheelchair bound (which is fair enough).

But if I needed to use the metro/RER can anyone please advise whether the following stations have many stairs I would need to negotiate to and from street level?

St-Germain des-Prés
La Muette

I suspect some of you may be very familiar with these stations. Any information you can provide would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance
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Old Nov 19th, 2014, 09:07 PM
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Luxembourg is an RER station, so it is handicap equipped.

Some of those other stations have escalators but sometimes only on the platform for one direction and not the other.
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Old Nov 19th, 2014, 09:38 PM
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Nearly all metro stations involve flights of stairs. Some have escalators here and there, but still may involve one or more double flights of stairs, and considerably walking, especially if getting to your destination requires one or more transfers. And, escalators are frequently out of order.

So, you should definitely plan on getting around by bus. With a walking stick, you're always guaranteed a seat on the bus because many seats are designated for same and will be vacated for you.

The buses usually get you much closer to your destination as well, and most transfers require little or no walking, though once in a while you may have to walk down a street a bit or go around the corner.

St-Sulpice, St-Germain des-Prés, Mabillon, Odéon, are all in the same general area, though some streets are one way, so you may have to walk a block or two to the stop for the bus going in the other direction, but that's easier than negotiating stairs.

If you mention where you're staying, and the specific destinations, I'm sure you'll receive help with the bus routing, or you can use www.ratp.fr, or www.vianagigo.com, or if you have a smartphone, Nanika MetrO (Google) is excellent for bus routing and does not require an internet connection to use while out and about (but is even more useful if you are connected).

Or, you can plan your routes yourself with this map


which you can also download to a tablet, PC, smartphone, or other device. Once in Paris, you can pick up the same, larger, folded, map for free in any metro station (that's not temporarily out of them).

I have a minor condition for which it's better if I avoid too many stairs, and the buses are definitely the way to go. Some complain that they're slower than the metro, but not necessarily. I'm never in that huge a hurry, but still the buses do not seem slower to me, probably because using the metro you're always on the move, rather than standing a few minutes waiting for the next bus to come along. Personally, I much prefer to stand waiting a few minutes than deal with all the stairs and hallways in the metro stations.

There used to be maps on the RATP app indicating which station exits had stairs and which had escalators, but those included only the last level to the curb, with no indicating of stairs involved between lower levels. And, with one of the RATP "upgrades", those maps vanished. To bad, because many stations have many exits, some with stairs, others with escalators to street level, which, in a larger station are not always obvious or easy to find.

Please ask if you have more questions.
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Old Nov 19th, 2014, 10:25 PM
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Kerouac and djkbooks - Thanks for your responses.
I actually had planned Paris in 2012 for 2013 but had to cancel it because I could not even sit on a plane. So I'm reviewing my research that I did then.
I had some memory of stairs presenting a problem within stations at correspondences even if there were escalators to to/from street level and you seem to have confirmed this for me.
djkbooks - I quite like buses since you see so much more interesting stuff from a bus than in metro tunnels. And given my mobility I am never in a hurry.

I came across my previous notes on bus routes etc and you have reconnected me with the source I used for this in 2012 ie that informer pdf . Thank you! Shall also have a look at Nanika MetrO.
Your comment about details about exits with stairs and/or escalators disappearing in an "upgrade" explains why my query to Infomobi in 2012 re exits could not be answered because they said they were unable to supply that information. Perhaps "Nobody knows" as Stephen Fry would say on QI.
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Old Nov 20th, 2014, 11:18 AM
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All metro stations have stairs, but generally the real small ones have fewer. But even ones without a correspondence may have 2-3 long flights, depends how far down the train is.
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Old Nov 20th, 2014, 11:50 AM
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This map booklet is an excellent resource for using the buses in Paris. It's a bit bulky to carry all over, but worth it for the larger print and meticulous detail for all sorts of things (such taxi stand locations).


Last I heard, you receive complimentary shipping and handling with the code LIVRAISON14

If you're comfortable using the buses, there's never a need to bother with the metro.

Most buses run until 12:30 AM, but, if you'll be riding "home" after 8PM, it's a good idea to check the bus schedules ahead of time. You can do that on the RATP website or refer to the 3 Plans.

The RATP bus routes map (link provided above) has a handy legend in the upper left corner which, if you can figure out how to zoom and print just that, is a very handy reference.

The Nanika MetrO app is programmed to the bus schedules (and you can change the time to check late routing).
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