Anyone who follows Paris news has probably noticed that getting around Paris isn’t always easy. A recent strike, which began on December 5th, 2019 and which may not be completely over, left the country practically paralyzed when it came to all modes of transport. Those living in the countryside struggled to travel by train and city dwellers had their daily commutes disrupted by nonexistent or heavily decreased metro and bus service.
While the images of Parisians packed into metro cars like sardines and the stereotype of the constantly striking French may cast doubt on your plans to plan a Paris vacation, there are plenty of reasons to remain positive about Paris! The city has several plans to improve and expand its bustling metro system for the better. So getting around Paris is sure to change.
The year 2020 promises plenty of changes for transport in Paris. Wait times to buy tickets will be considerably cut down thanks to a new Navigo app that allows users to buy and download metro tickets directly to their phones. Metro tickets will also become more accessible as the city unveils its annual passe “junior” which allows children aged 4-11 years to use public transportation in Paris for only 24 euro. The new low price is such a good deal that those on a Paris vacation with children in this age range could also save money by taking advantage of the fare.
In the past years Paris, thanks largely to its mayor Anne Hidalgo, has been pushing to relieve some pressure on public transport and go green by making the city more bike-friendly. The recent strike had record numbers of Parisians opting to get around the city by bike. In the coming year, locals will have even more incentive to adopt a two-wheel lifestyle with the city offering up to a 500 euro credit to be used to buy an electric bike. In addition to the city’s already existing bike and scooter share systems, 2020 seems to be the year of the bike in Paris.
Those flying into Paris will be happy to hear that the RER B line, which carries over a million commuters a day and connects Paris airports Orly and Charles de Gaulle to the city center, will be upgraded with new security devices and better ventilation paving the way for a more comfortable arrivé to Paris.
Once in the city, traveling to other neighborhoods and other regions of France, as well, will be more enjoyable thanks to citywide renovations of Paris’ major train stations. Despite the controversy surrounding plans to overhaul the busy Gare du Nord in time for the 2024 Paris Olympics, most updates to Paris train stations have been more modest and aim to make traveling in France simple and convenient. Paris train stations will all be getting a bit of a makeover in the run-up to the 2024 Olympics, with added seating, clearer signage, and increased retail being integrated into the existing structures.
We may not be able to predict the next strike- or how long it will last- but rest assured that there are ample ways to get around Paris and still make it to your French cooking class on time. And if all goes according to plan, Paris travel should get even easier in 2020.