Paris transportation guide
The Gare de Lyon, one of six train stations in Paris
Paris is a central hub of the national rail network of very fast (TGV) and normal (Corail) trains, which interconnects with a high-speed regional network, the RER. Six major railway stations, Gare du Nord, Gare Montparnasse, Gare de l'Est, Gare de Lyon, Gare d'Austerlitz, and Gare Saint-Lazare connect this train network to the world famous and highly efficient underground metro system, the MÃƒÂ©tro. This latter is a network of 380 stations (more than the London Underground) connected by 221.6km of rails
There are two tangential tramway lines in the suburbs: Line T1 runs from Saint-Denis to Noisy-le-Sec, line T2 runs from La DÃƒÂ©fense to Issy. A third line along the southern inner orbital road is currently under construction.
Administratively speaking, the public transportation networks of the Paris region are coordinated by the Syndicat des transports d'ÃƒÅ½le-de-France (STIF), formerly Syndicat des transports parisiens (STP). official site Members of the syndicate include the RATP, which operates the Parisian and some suburban busses, the MÃƒÂ©tro, and sections of the RER; the SNCF, which operates the rest of the RER and the suburban train lines; and other operators.
The city is also the hub of France's motorway network, and is surrounded by an orbital road, the PÃƒÂ©riphÃƒÂ©rique, which roughly follows the path of final, 19th-century fortifications around Paris. On/off ramps of the PÃƒÂ©riphÃƒÂ©rique are called 'Portes', as they correspond to the former city gates in these fortifications. Most of these 'Portes' have parking areas and a metro station, where non-residents are advised to leave cars. Traffic in Paris is notoriously heavy, slow and tiresome.
Taxi charges are fairly reasonable - between ?6.10 and ?10.67 for a central daytime journey, though considerably more if you call one out. There are three different fare rates: indicator lights on the roof of the taxi tell you which fare is being applied. "A" indicates the daytime rate (7am-7pm; around ?0.53/km) for Paris and the boulevard pÃƒÂ©riphÃƒÂ©rique; "B" is the rate for Paris at night (7pm-7am), on Sundays and on public holidays, and for the suburbs during the day (around ?0.83/km); "C" is the night rate for the suburbs (?1.07/km). When you get into the taxi, check that the meter shows the appropriate fare rate. In addition, there's a pick-up charge of around ?1.98 and a time charge (around ?18.29/hr) for when the car is stationary, an additional ?0.76 charge if you're picked up from a mainline train station, and a ?0.95 charge per piece of luggage.
Taxis will often refuse to take more than three people (they don't like you to sit in the front seat); if they do take you, they'll charge extra for the fourth person (about ?1.37). Tipping is not mandatory, but ten percent will be expected. Finding one of Paris's 470 taxi ranks ( arrÃƒÂªt taxi ) is usually better than trying to hail one down in the street. The large white light means the taxi is free; the orange light below means it's engaged.
Paris is served by two principal airports: Orly Airport, which is south of Paris, and the Charles de Gaulle International Airport in nearby Roissy-en-France, one of the busiest in Europe. A third and much smaller airport, at the town of Beauvais, 70 km (45 mi) to the north of the city, is used by charter and low-cost airlines. Le Bourget airport nowadays only hosts business jets, air trade shows and the aerospace museum.
Click on the map for an enlargement.