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The shortest distance between Pointe A et Pointe B, c'est

The shortest distance between Pointe A et Pointe B, c'est

Apr 24th, 2007, 10:31 AM
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The shortest distance between Pointe A et Pointe B, c'est

probably an RATP bus. Many new visitors to Paris seem to be intimidated by the bus network because there are ten times as many lines and stops as in the Métro. But this fact can be used to your advantage, since it means you probably don't have to walk as far as the nearest Métro station - at both ends. There are a few simple tricks even a newbie can learn that make getting around a pièce de gâteau.

First of all, go to www.ratp.fr, and put the address of your hotel (such as 36 rue Bonaparte in the Départ / Plan de quartier box, and press "Plan de quartier" below.

You will probably see a map of the neighborhood around your hotel. If the address is ambiguous in any way, a page having a drop-down menu at the bottom will be presented instead. Click the item that corresponds to your hotel's location, press "Rechercher" - and the correct map should appear. (Obviously, you can also display a similar map of your destination.)

Notice that some number of BUS icons will be on the map. Hover your mouse over each one, and make a note of the name of the stop (at the top of the box) and which line(s) they serve. Then click on the icon, and write down which direction (En direction de buses stopping there are headed (the significance of which you will see momentarily).

Now you are going to print out a route map of each line. Replace the 17 at the end of the URL below with the numbers of each of the lines around your hotel, download the maps, and print them out. Notice the endpoints of each line. These correspond to the direction information you got by clicking the BUS icons.


If the places you are interested in visiting aren't on any of the routes near your hotel, consult this global map to plot a route from one of your hotel lines (wait for it - it's big:


Once you have highlighted your hotel stop on each line map, you will have your own personal bus directory centered on your place of lodging.

There is also a schematic bus map that you may find useful (although it might be a bit much for beginners):


Points to note:

Each time you get on a bus, it costs one ticket (no transfers). This is where a pass often makes better sense than carnet tickets.

If you get lost, ask for directions to the nearest Métro station (bohnzhoor - oo ay luh maytroe, seel voo play) to get you back on track [heh, heh].

Have fun.
Robespierre is offline  
Apr 24th, 2007, 11:13 AM
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It depends if you are referring to Euclidian or non-Euclidian geometry.
On a more serious note: Funny guys the French, aren't they? Why do they call all metro stations "La Sortie"?
lobo_mau is offline  
Apr 24th, 2007, 11:17 AM
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Erik Sortie was a famous French composer, who formed the Ausfahrt school of music with Friedrich Einbahn.
Robespierre is offline  
Apr 24th, 2007, 11:21 AM
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which Sortie did Erik-Satie use?
PalenQ is online now  
Apr 25th, 2007, 04:55 AM
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Not the one favoured by the Italian maestro, E. Pericoloso Sporgersi.
PatrickLondon is offline  
Apr 25th, 2007, 09:23 AM
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Very nice information, Robe. We love the buses and for our last trip I did something similar for our Republique area because it is SO well served by the buses. It isn't always easy to find the bus stop going the "correct" way--at least for my direction-challenged self.
Gretchen is offline  
Apr 28th, 2007, 06:16 PM
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samsmom1127 is offline  
Apr 28th, 2007, 06:52 PM
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In addition to individual bus route maps, I like to print sections of the "geo" map ("bus with streets").

Save the (pdf) document to your desktop (you get better proportions when printing that way). Open the file. Change to 65%. Click on Tools, Select & Zoom, then the Hand Tool. Now, drag the location of your hotel/apartment to the center of the map. Click on the Printer icon. In the Print window, select Current View, then print. After that, move your hotel/apartment to the upper left corner, print that, lower left corner, print that, etc.

You can always adjust the percentage down for a larger print area or up for larger print.

It's also useful to print (in rather large detail) areas where you will probably transfer frequently, such as Place de la Concorde, Place de l'Opera, St-Germain-des-Pres, as the stop for your connecting bus may be a block in either direction, or even around the corner. (But, you can always check the "Plan du Quartier" where you get off before marching all over looking for your stop.)

Anyway, these one sheet portions of the bus routes map can be folded up and tucked in a pocket (even printed front/back, but I use the backs for notes).

I also download the same areas onto my PDA with Repli-Go, along with all the individual bus routes I think we'll be using.
djkbooks is offline  
Apr 28th, 2007, 07:26 PM
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crepes_a_go_go is offline  
Apr 29th, 2007, 05:12 AM
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added to "Paris Superthread"

ira is offline  
May 27th, 2007, 06:55 AM
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OR you could do this: on your first day in Paris, go to a big book store (I go to the one at Le Bon Marche) and get a little paperback book that shows each bus line separately and where it goes. Your choice of book may depend on the extent of your French knowledge, if any - but just looking at the picture will probably do the trick. I also have an even smaller book I carry Paris Indicateur Par Rues, which lists every street in the city, where the street begins and ends and the nearest Metro line for each part of that street! I also have a third paperback (-these are all purse-size) called Paris par Arondissement - for each arr., it has 3 maps: regular map (with local attractions), metro map, and bus map.
When you get on a bus, there is usually a linear map above the seats, with lights that go on at each stop when you get to it. If this is broken - you can always ask the driver - or point to the station you need in the little book if you cannot pronounce it.
There's also a big branch of WHSmith - the English book store, across from the Tuileries Metro stop which may be helpful too.
Jess215 is offline  
May 27th, 2007, 08:30 AM
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Thankes Robespierre.

The pocket-sized guide "le Bus" is very handy, easpecially when used in conjunction with the Paris Mapguide.
RonZ is offline  
Aug 24th, 2007, 06:48 AM
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Update: a new ticket 't+' has been introduced. It allows transfers from bus to bus and bus to tram for 90 minutes after its first use. I don't see where it can be used on the Métro and then a bus, but it is rumored that this is legal.

More here: http://www.ratp.info/informer/ticket_t_plus.php
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Apr 28th, 2009, 06:33 PM
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intersting things may happen on buses. We were on one day this past week in March when the bus stopped and out, the driver went to argue with some guy who would not move his car to let the bus pass through. I was amused watching all the passengers leave their seats to move up front to see what was going on. I and my friends were standing.
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