Annex 5 International Case Studies of Good Practice

Paris, France

Passenger transport in the Greater Paris Area is organized, co-ordinated and funded by the Societe de Transport en Ile de France (STIF). The main passenger transport services (metro, regional rail, bus, tram) are operated by RATP, who also provided all of the customer-facing services including passenger information and ticketing. Commuter rail services are operated by SNCF, the national rail company. There are also private bus companies operating in the Greater Paris area. STIF determines who can operate in the Greater Paris Area and defines the general operating conditions. RATP and SNCF operate under contract from STIF, which sets out the service, quality and financial obligations of both sides. STIF also creates policy for ticketing and tariff-setting, sets quality of service standards, invests in the infrastructure and other transport improvements, and provides the operating subsidy. Two measures of good practice in Paris are presented:

  • Bus priority (Mobilien)
  • Passenger information

Bus Priority (Mobilien): Bus services in Paris have traditionally received the least advantage, with the large investments going to the Metro and the suburban rail systems. As a result, bus services were a less attractive mode and suffered from traffic delays. The Urban Travel Plan for Paris of 2000 recognised that a large number of urban and suburban trips are diffuse and are not well served by the Metro and rail, and that only a greatly improved bus service could properly serve this market.

The Le Mobilien project was developed to make this major improvement to the Paris urban and suburban bus services. It consists of 150 bus lines, mostly already existing, and 150 multimodal public transport hubs. The network has been designed as a network in its own right, consisting of radial bus routes leading to the centre of Paris, linked by a system of orbital routes. The lines also connect with the Metro and rail services, providing the third layer of the multi-modal network.

A key feature of the Le Mobilien project is the extensive bus priority given to the services. It is not full BRT, but it gives a much higher level of priority than standard bus lanes. The objective is to improve the bus operating speeds by at least 20% and to raise the frequency of services.

It invests in the running way infrastructure for the buses to improve the operating speed. Special attention has been given to reducing delays at intersections. Buses approaching traffic lights are given priority by adjustment of the traffic signal sequence.

A high emphasis is given to the visual aspects. The most visible improvements are changes to the street layout and the road profile. Attention is given to the need of other users, including the waiting passengers, pedestrians and cyclists. Accessibility for all users is assured by low-floor buses and by the design of pavements, crossing areas and waiting areas.

The first Mobilien route to come into service was line 38 in mid-2004. About 20 routes are currently operational (end-2007), with the target to have more than 40 operational by end-2008.

Passenger Information: Extensive passenger information is provided for all modes through a wide range of communication channels. All stations and most bus stops have route maps and service schedules, as well as local area maps to help passengers find their local destination.

The RATP website has route planning facilities, interactive maps, timetables, and extensive information on how to use the transport services. Customers can set their personal preferences (e.g. least number of interchanges, quickest journey, cheapest fare). The route planner supports information based on streets, landmarks and other locations. Help facilities are available to explain to users how to use the service.

Real-time passenger information is provided on the web and at bus stops. Within the bus, the next-stop is displayed and announcements are made automatically.

While a high use is made of technology, great attention is still given to the basic, traditional information methods. Bus routes and destinations are clearly displayed on the buses, route numbers are displayed at the stops. Logos, signs, and information are consistent, and are tested extensively with users of all categories before being put into use. Since Paris is a major international city with many visitors, information is provided in many languages as well as French.

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