Transportation Options CDG-St. Michel

Sep 10th, 2009, 08:19 AM
  #1  
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Transportation Options CDG-St. Michel

We and another couple with whom we're traveling in Oct. (they from Toronto, Air France; we from PIT, Delta) were meeting in CDG and taking Shuttle-Inter to our hotel near St. Michel metro station.
I just found out this morning that our non-stop Delta flight has been cancelled for our travel day, but Delta offered us a non-stop flight a day earlier. We decided to take this since our whole reason for flying Delta (and not using our ff miles on USAirways) was b/c of this newly instituted non-stop flight. Anyway, in our foursome, I was in charge of getting us to the hotel, and my husband and I will go ahead and take Shuttle-Inter. However, I feel that I would like to tell the other couple about other less expensive options for them on the following day, Bottom line: how easy would it be for them to get from Terminal 2F to St. Michel on the RER? It's been many years since I have taken the RER.
Thank you very much for any info/recommendations.
grandmere is offline  
Sep 10th, 2009, 08:32 AM
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In summary, you're taking the door to door shuttle service and leaving your poor travel companions to fend for themselves with nothing more than RER instructions?

Don't be surprised if you have fewer travel-arrangement responsibilities in the future.

Here are the steps:

1. Purchase a ticket and board the RER at the station located in terminal 2 . To find directions, there is a map here:

www.easycdg.com

The ticket kiosks will probably not accept magnet strip credit cards, purchase tickets at the service window: fare 8.50€

2. Disembark at St.-Michel/Notre-Dame and follow the blue “Sortie” signs to exit the Métro.
Sarastro is offline  
Sep 10th, 2009, 09:11 AM
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Sarastro, I thought I made it abundantly clear that I wanted to OFFER them knowledge of a less expensive option than the Shuttle, the expense of which we were going to share. I will certainly reserve the Shuttle for them if that is their choice among the options.
grandmere is offline  
Sep 10th, 2009, 09:26 AM
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The RER is not a bad option, since it is direct to St Michel, and there is only one RER line out of CDG. I've taken it a few times without issues.

I suppose you could go to CDG and meet them at the RER station and come back together.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Sep 10th, 2009, 10:25 AM
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Easy grandmère, if you initially indicated to your travel companions that your travel solution from CDG to the hotel was to share the price of a shuttle and that they should anticipate an approximately 25€ travel expense for fundamentally door to door service, offering them nothing more than knowledge that they themselves could obtain at the CDG information desk does not appear, at least to me, as any grand gesture on your part.

I understand that your flight was canceled but these friends are not responsible for the cancellation, nor for your accepting the option of traveling a day earlier just to keep a "non-stop" flight. Was this not your choice and your decision alone or have I missed some important detail?

At a minimum, an offer to pay half of their shuttle expense as you originally arranged should be extended. If they accept, consider the money will be well spent. If they acknowledge it a worthy gesture but feel it unnecessary, now is the time to offer cheaper alternatives.
Sarastro is offline  
Sep 10th, 2009, 10:43 AM
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The RER is fine, fast, and cheap. The only problem I had the last time I took it was that the lines for tickets were huge. I was nervous about making my train to Rouen from Gare St. Lazare, but managed to do it, even with the ticket line and taxi line from Gare du NOrd to St. Lazare. Maybe the lines were just bad that particular day, but I remember wishing I had opted for a taxi from CDG to St. Lazare.

I've never done the shuttle thing from CDG to Paris, but have going back to airport. I've read on here a lot about them not showing up, which would certainly be most annoying. My favorite way of airport transport is the Air France Bus, but I either stay near Gare Montparnasse, where it stops, or a short taxi ride away. In your friends' case, I think the RER would be fine, since you're staying near St. Michel. They can decide if they want to do the shuttle, taxi, or save money with the RER!

By the way, that's kind of nice that you have a "surprise" extra day in Paris!
Sue4 is offline  
Sep 10th, 2009, 11:12 AM
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michel - do all RER trains from CDG go thru to Saint-Michel or do some terminate at Gare du Nord? this has come up before but i cannot recall the answer. Anyway the train they board at CDG should have Saint-Michel lit up on the overhead board on the platform - lighted stations indicating the stations that train will serve. And get a non-stop RER to Gare du Nord and not the stopping train - don't just board the next RER train without perusing where it is going - again perhaps every train goes to Saint-Michel, which is what i kind of recall learning when i said this once before. Thanks for clarifications.
Palenque is offline  
Sep 10th, 2009, 11:47 AM
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RER is the least expensive and most reliable method to get to St Michel. Shuttles and taxis are not just subject to traffic, but as one said- they sometimes have human error too

Sue- If the lines are long,. the machines are fine. Just enter your destination and your ticket will get you all the way there even if you make transfers.

Sarastro- The machines will take US Credit Cards, but you need to enter your PIN to validate the transaction

Palen- There are some non stops to Gare du Nord(which I think just means they dont stop BEFORE gare du Nord), but the Blue line goes to St Michel afterwards(I think there is one stop in between-Les Halles)
FrankS is offline  
Sep 10th, 2009, 12:40 PM
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I'm glad to hear the machines will take U.S. Credit cards - I didn't think they would. Do they also take Euros? I need to get to Gare de l'Est from CDG for my October trip. I've been debating whether to do the RER (walking from Gare du Nord to l'Est), or a taxi. I'll spend money on all kinds of crazy things, but somehow never seem to want to do it for taxis in Paris!
Sue4 is offline  
Sep 10th, 2009, 12:55 PM
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there are two ways to walk from Nord to Est - but the short one that involves going down a long flight of stairs is not obvious - the two stations actually almost touch each other - the way most folks walk is to go down to the Blvd Magents (sp?) and the hook around back up to Est - kind of doing three sides of a box - the stairway way is much much closer (even though it does go thru a rather seedy area IMO)
Palenque is offline  
Sep 10th, 2009, 01:05 PM
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Both are in Zone 1...no split in line. St M. 2 stops past GdN. From what I remember last trip, the train skipped over certain outlying stations depending on time of day. Time times I've taken it, hop on hop off.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Sep 10th, 2009, 01:12 PM
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FrankS - I have never seen a US credit card that has a PIN. Are you talking about ATM cards?
Sarastro is offline  
Sep 10th, 2009, 01:22 PM
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Grandmere, I think what you are doing is perfectly reasonable--and that under the circumstance you are being quite helpful to your friends as well to provide them options of varying costs to get to the hotel without you. I don't understand the negative comments indicating that you have some kind of obligation to pay half of your friends' transportation costs.
JulieVikmanis is offline  
Sep 10th, 2009, 01:48 PM
  #14  
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Thank you to everyone who supplied helpful info, and an especial thanks to you, Julie, for understanding that the entire trip was not predicated upon our sharing a 60 euro shuttle.
grandmere is offline  
Sep 10th, 2009, 02:17 PM
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Sue,
The machines do not take currency

Sarastro,
I have never used an ATM card at those machines, but they might work too. I have used my regular VISA card and just input my PIN when prompted by the machine. Just ask your VISA Card bank to issue you a PIN(if you dont have a PIN already) when you inform them that you are travelling overseas
FrankS is offline  
Sep 10th, 2009, 02:24 PM
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grandmere, from your many posts here, you are an experienced traveler and a thoughtful travel companion, I am sure you will do whatever you need to do to make your friends comfortable in selecting the way they get to St. Michel from CDG.

We usually take the metro using the RER Line B to St. Michel. It has been my experience that at the CDG/RER train station the lines are very often LOOOONG to get to the "manned" ticket window , the yellow machines that give out tickets do not take credit cards without the chip/puce and that you must have coins not currency to get RER tickets from the machines. For those reasons I now come home with Euros and enough change for two tickets on the RER---it's my little Paris travel stash!! Hope you all have a great trip. Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  
Sep 10th, 2009, 02:35 PM
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They can take a Taxi..much more comfortable than taking the RER.
kismetchimera is offline  
Sep 10th, 2009, 02:45 PM
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I bet you almost wish you hadn't posted!!

I forgot to answer your earlier email about meeting one another at CDG...I will email you now..

Joan
gracejoan3 is offline  
Sep 10th, 2009, 08:17 PM
  #19  
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Again, thanks, everyone for the helpful info and supportive comments.

Coincidentally, before I could reach our friends by phone to tell them about our change of plans, I got an email from them, saying they were interested in taking the RER, as opposed to the Shuttle.

And their credit cards (Canadian) do have the chips in them!
grandmere is offline  
Sep 11th, 2009, 12:56 AM
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More and more of the newer ticket machines take banknotes. But they all take chip cards.

As for RER trains terminating at Gare du Nord, some of them do -- but not the ones coming from the airport!
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