MBA France

Public Transports in France


 

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Probably France has the best public transport system of any city in Europe specially around Paris in terms of geographical spread, speed, upkeep and tariffs. The capital is criss-crossed with publicly-run services by bus, underground (or subway) and overhead rail and trams, which are all grouped under one authority, called the RATP.

All important towns in France have extensive bus, tram systems or metrobus systems and are good way to explore. Books of tickets carnets offering reductions can be bought in advance from ticket offices. These types of transport serve the town centers and inner suburbs. They are fast and economical, and are the most practical worry-free way to discover a town.

In Paris the metro is by far the quickest and most practical way of getting about with 15 lines and around 300 stations. The service usually runs from 5.30am and ends around 12.30am and numerous connections with the RER (Regional express network) which links regions outlying Paris with the centre of the capital, where it runs underground and the SNCF railway stations allow easy traveling to the suburbs.

Every French town and city has a public transport service, and regional coach companies operate bus lines in rural areas. Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Rennes and Toulouse all have metro services. Tickets or passes from the local transport service will cover all travel in your town, city or rural region.

The tariffs of the tickets to travel into Paris limits are EUR 1.40 (one ticket) or EUR 10.50 for a set of ten, called un carnet de tickets (2004 prices). One ticket gives you access to either the bus or metro and for the duration of one uninterrupted journey only, although in the case of the metro you can ride as many lines as necessary to get to your destination.

Prices for the carte orange vary according to the geographical zone you choose, but start at EUR 50.40 per month for Paris only and finish at EUR 136.90 per month for the entire outer Paris region. There are also weekly and inter-suburban rates. You can find tickets, passes and information from any metro station, and carnets of tickets are also available at any Tabac (tobacconist shop).

French Taxis

In France, the local prefecture concedes licenses to all the taxis, which imposes strict rules on roadworthiness, passenger capacity (a maximum of three) and working hours. There is no two-tier system, and they all operate in the same way and to the same tariffs in each region. However, for especially long journeys it is common to ask for a fixed price (not forfeit).

Taxis in Paris can be hailed in the street, at the numerous taxi ranks found in every district or booked by phone. Two of the largest taxis operating companies in the capital are:

  • G7, the number of telephone is: 01 47 39 47 39.
  • Taxis Bleus, The number of telephone is: 0891 70 10 10.

National Rail Service

The French railway network is run by a single authority, the state-run SNCF, and it is administrated as a public service. The network is precise, trains run with the precision of a Swiss watch and tariffs are cheaper per kilometre than in most other European countries.

You can buy all types of rail tickets with most credit card and at any SNCF station, or by calling 0892 35 35 35. For train times call 08 91 67 68 69. Information concerning all services is available online at: National Rail Service

Air Travel

The biggest carrier is Air France which, with its filial Brit Air, connects Paris with the major French cities while an ever-decreasing number of smaller air companies offer provincial inter-city links. Air travel is more expensive than rail and unexpected delays are more frequent. However, while the high speed train connections, like that between Paris and Lyon, can offer comparable overall traveling times, air links are by far quicker for traveling from one end of the country to the other.

Air France flight reservations and information is on 0820 820 820 and online at: Air Travel, and for other companies contact a travel agent or the airport directly.


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Transport & Relocation in France
MBA France