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Getting around Paris

Parisian Taxis

Getting around Paris

French taxis are licensed by the local prefecture, 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 manner and to the same tariffs in each region. However, for especially long journeys it is common to ask for a fixed price.

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 taxi operating companies in the capital are G7 (Tel: +33 1 47 39 47 39) and Taxis Bleus.

The public transportation system in and around Paris is probably the best of many city in Europe 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.

You can buy one-journey tickets or the cheaper travel passes which allow you to use any of the services as often as you please. The pass commonly used by commuters in and around the capital is called the carte orange, which covers transport across an area of up to some 50 kilometres (30 miles) around the capital.

The Paris underground metro train lines serve every small neighbourhood in the capital, and run from 5.30 am until 00.30 am. The average frequency of metro trains is about every five minutes. The metro lines are designated by number, and the direction of the terminus station.

There is also an express commuter train service, called the RER, which links regions outlying Paris with the centre of the capital, where it runs underground.

Tickets for travel within the city limits cost EUR 1.40 each (one ticket) or EUR 10.50 for a set of ten, called "un carnet de tickets".

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 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 (specially licensed tobacconist shop). www.ratp.fr.

The RER and all overhead rail services to, from and around the capital are operated by the SNCF, in affiliation with the RATP. www.sncf.com.

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