Metro in Paris – Yesterday and Today

Being in Paris, it’s hard to pass its metro, all the more the city is just laced with lines of the underground transport. Paris metro is the most “dense” in the world and the third oldest in Europe after only London and Budapest. The first station of Paris Metro (along with many other objects, created for Paris World Exhibition) was opened in 1900.

Metro in Paris is initially shallow and the first lines were laid directly under the city streets because the deviation from the “route” could lead builders to someone’s cellar or basement. Major part of the lines in the city center was started already before 1920-th years. And their distinctive feature was a small stretch between underground stops, a large number of stations, made in modern-style (the author of the design of many stations – Hector Guimard).

During all last century Parisian subway expanded, new stations and lines were opened, trains got new appearance. Once in the subway of Paris wooden cars were used, but now at their place are comfortable modern “descendants”. Among other things, the sixties were marked by the appearance of city and suburban lines of trains RER.

Overall today Paris metro has fourteen large lines and two short – the former branches of the lines 3 and 7. As for the stations, their total quantity is 384, and 21 of them are located on the surface, while all others are underground. By number of passengers the metro in Paris is the second largest in Europe, losing only to its “colleague” in Moscow, and daily transports up to four and a half million people.

From an artistic point of view Parisian subway stations are not the most notable, but there are also some very interesting representatives. We wrote about them in our special article.

It must be said that almost all the cars in Paris subway have the distinctive feature, their doors are not opening automatically. To go into the station passengers must press a special button or pick up a small pen.

If in the subways of other cities the names of stations are announced, then in Paris you will not hear it. The names are written in large letters on the walls of the stations, so inexperienced tourists have to be careful and always keep an eye out the window.

The price of one trip in Paris metro is 1.7 euros and is equal to the cost of ground public transport. You can buy tickets in special machines with English, French, German and Italian versions of the interface. For fans of retro some stations still has the classic windows with cashiers, where excepting purchase of tickets people can get more information on public transport in Paris.

From subways in other cities Paris Metro is distinguished by the fact that it has a lot of so-called “ghosts” stations, which have been closed or not opened for one or other reason. Most of the “ghosts” was closed in the late thirties of the twentieth century, when France entered the Second World War. Despite the fact that these stations are closed for Parisians and visitors, company RATP (Paris metro operator) organizes special tours sometimes. Believe, this is really interesting, so if you have the opportunity to get on this tour, do not reject.

More information on Paris Metro you can find on its official website, where also there are route maps of subway and other types of public transport.