Amsterdam view from Amsterdam Tower

Amsterdam view from Amsterdam Tower
The view from Amsterdam Tower

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Paris - Le Metro

Why do I have to write about public transportation in Paris? 

One of Metro Stations
  • In my French text book, it is always mentioned about “prendre le metro” (take the metro),
  • The fact is that Paris has one of the densest metro networks in the world, with 245 stations within 86.9 km2 (34 sq mi) of the city of Paris (source: Wikipedia),
  • It carries 4.5 million passengers a day or even more now…
  • Coming from a country where there is no metro, I like to observe most of the things about it; the metro itself, the passengers, the stations, the other unusual stuff happening in the metro…
Paris is a big & busy city

Le Metro

Opened in 1900, the Paris Metropolitain (Le Metro) remains to this day a model of efficient public transportation (source: Discover France). 

Paris looong time ago, one of the showcase at Le Musee de Carnavalet (Paris History)

During our stay, we purchased Metro Pass valid for five days in advanced. We had it delivered to the hotel. It is very convenient.

It just happened that one of our passes did not work on Day 2. After having it exchanged, the replacement Metro Pass worked well.

Left: Starbucks, Right: Stairs to Metro Station-Le Motte Picquet Grenelle

The Metro was free on the new year's eve. Starting 5pm on the last day of the year, everyone could take Metro with no pay. The gate was open, just walked thru, no need to swipe any ticket. It was still free until 1st January around noon. I recalled that when we used the Metro around 2pm, I had to use my ticket again.

Amazingly, our replacement Metro Pass still worked well even after it supposed to be its expiration date (five days). #Smile

Left is stairs to Metro Station near Notre Dame Paris

Still about Le Metro, my loved one found some old metro tickets from many years ago. Thanks to the sophisticated system, these tickets could be used! #Canggih #maju sekali sistem Metro di negara ini. Anyway, I think giving citizens free Metro ride in the New Year is a good community service.

In a couple of occasion, there were street musicians in the metro entertaining the passengers for coins. The most interesting one is a couple of guys playing jazz with their trumpets. Cool…

Street with busy parking space

Children Program

In one of the Metro rides, I noticed there were about 20 kids of around ten years old. They wore tag in their necklace with some information of their name of neighborhood and contact number. They were with four adults escorting them like big brothers/sisters.

I was informed that it is city program to organize i.e. trip for children during school holiday. Program is meant for low income families. They either paid a little sum and local government provide subsidy, or they didn't pay at all. The city office would assign some adults to take the kids to parks or visit museums etc.

Bike for rent (Le Velib)

The kids look cute. They come from different background. Their hair colors are black, brown, blonde, some has Asian skins, some has dark color skins, some look European. But they all speak French.

It is challenging to take 20 kids in Paris Metro. They had to stick together. When the train door was open, the big brother gave instruction: “Allez-y” - Come on… and everyone had to rush in. Bear in mind that the Metro was not empty at all. So they had to squeeze in and people could hear kids voice; Woooo....when the Metro ran... 

Paris has traffic jam too, more & more people drive motorbikes

Like everyone else, when the Metro is full, they have to stand up and hold on to something in order not to fall... Other passengers were smiling and squeezed to other part of Metro, to give these kids some spaces.

Getting out of metro was another challenge. The big brothers/sisters had to wait till everyone got off the Metro. It had to be done in a certain seconds otherwise the door is closed automatically. Then brother/sister had to make sure all the kids were there. 

Cruise at the Seine River is something... but this boat is a floating house

Changing from one metro to another was also fun. They marched and each two kids were holding hands together. They followed the instruction of their brother/sister.

These brothers/sisters were paid to do this by the local city government. These guys whom I saw looking cool being with the kids. One guy talked to them patiently. He kept on telling them not to speak out or bother other passenger, to sit still, etc.... Twenty of ten years old kid together, they can be powerful – LOL. 

This truck isn't a public transportation, its duty is to clean up the streets

Perhaps this is one of the reasons why France is so desirable to live in by immigrants for better living and better life.

I drove this buggy at Le Chateau de Versailles

Anyway,…. Everyone dreams for a better life. A lot of people dreams to go and live in a modern country like Europe. They are willing to leave their country, family and friends to start a new life for a new hope. Yes, Europe i.e. Paris is beautiful and romantic. However living cost is high. Unless we have at least decent job and income, living in Paris may not be fun.

There is a huge different between visiting Paris and living in Paris. Once we are living there, there is another challenge. I believe better living and better life come from inside of our heart. If we are happy inside, hopefully we are happy wherever we are…

Coming up next - Part 3
Paris, the monuments, the museums, the cuisine....

1 comment:

  1. Hey V, the entry is awesome. I didn't think of the Métro Pass at first. I purchased Carnet lol!

    How did you come across such a buggy for touring Le Château de Versailles?! Was it rentable somewhere?!

    It is indeed tough to live in Paris if you've got no good job and money. Look forward to your upcoming entries on Paris. Very well-documented!