• France edition
 
Are Paris commuters becoming more polite?
A new survey says the legendary rudness in Paris's subway is waning.Photo: Patrick Kovarik/AFP

Are Paris commuters becoming more polite?

Published: 12 May 2014 15:17 GMT+02:00
Updated: 12 May 2014 15:17 GMT+02:00

Whether it’s the man who refuses to give up his seat to an elderly person or else the passenger who boards a train before letting others get off first, visitors to the French capital have their fair share of complaints with regards to behaviour on the city's transportation network.

But a new report from the RATP’s Observatory of Incivilities, published exclusively on Monday by French daily Le Parisien, suggests there has been a significant change of attitude in the past year.

According to a survey of 1,450 commuters conducted at the beginning of April by TNS Soffres, incidences of impoliteness are becoming increasingly rare.

Over the past year, the average commuter witnessed around 74 acts of impoliteness compared with 81 in last year’s survey - a decrease of nine percent.

In the survey, commuters were questioned about 30 so-called “incivilities” ranging from general manners to cleanliness.

One of the most positive changes in behaviour, according to the survey, was the decreasing number of people who refuse to give up their seat to an elderly or disabled person ( down by 24 percent).

View from La Rue: Are Parisians really that rude to tourists?

Meanwhile, those who refused to remove their backpack on a crowded train tumbled by 19 percent.  

The number of people who held open the doors at metro and RER stations fell by 13 percent and those eating on buses or trains dropped by nine percent.

Incidents of people pushing without apologizing also fell by nine percent.

However, while these basic courtesies appeared to have increased, there was sadly no change when it came to reports of aggressive behaviour, according to the paper.

Failure to stamp a ticket, jumping over ticket turnstiles and failure to wait for passengers to get off the train before boarding were listed as some of the most common acts of bad behaviour.

Encouragingly, though, 98 percent of commuters said they would be willing to change their behaviour and 88 percent said they would raise awareness of the issue, much to the delight of RATP. 

“Passengers doesn’t expect the world from others and are ready to act themselves,” RATP’s communications director Isabelle Ockrent was quoted as saying. “We don’t want to lecture [people], as we know that impoliteness is sometimes due to transport conditions.”  

Don't miss stories about France, join us on Facebook and Twitter

Sophie Inge (sophie.inge@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Paris Fashion Week: Five trends to emerge
Was Mexican wrestling-style masks one of the trends to emerge from the Paris Fashion Week? Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

Paris Fashion Week: Five trends to emerge

Didn't manage to get a seat by the catwalk during this year's Paris Fashion week? No need to worry, here's five trends that emerged from the catwalks this week. READ  

Better to grow old in the UK and US than France?
Is it really better to grow old in the US and the UK than France? Plenty would disagree. Photo: Jazz Beaunola/Flickr

Better to grow old in the UK and US than France?

A new global study concludes pensioners have a better quality of life in the US and the UK than in France. This may come as a surprise to the thousands of retired expats who came to France to settle. So is the study wrong and where would you rather grow old? READ  

Paris tourism
Louvre and Versailles to open seven days a week
The Louvre in Paris will be open seven days a week in future. As will Versailles and the Musée d'Orsay.

Louvre and Versailles to open seven days a week

Three of France's most famous museums and art galleries - the Louvre, the Palace of Versailles and the Musee d'Orsay - will soon be open seven days a week, the government revealed on Wednesday. Many visitors may be surprised they aren't already open all week-round. READ  

Profile - A French 'executioner'?
Pot-smoking Frenchman is Isis 'executioner'
An image grab taken from a video uploaded on YouTube allegedly shows members of a Jihadist group affiliated to the jihadist group Isis. Photo: AFP

Pot-smoking Frenchman is Isis 'executioner'

The man accused by the US State department of carrying out executions for the Islamist extremist group Isis was a "fun-loving" Frenchman who enjoyed smoking weed and going out clubbing, according to this report. READ  

First ever class action lawsuit filed in France
A property management company is the target of France's first ever class action suit. Photo: Thomas Samson/AFP

First ever class action lawsuit filed in France

On the same day class action lawsuits became legal in France, a consumer watchdog group filed one of the collective proceedings against the country’s biggest landlord over the "illegal" fees it charges renters. READ  

French cops revoke Le Pen's driving license
Far-right leader Marine Le Pen has had her driver's license revoked. Photo: Patrick Kovarik/AFP

French cops revoke Le Pen's driving license

French far-right politician Marine Le Pen had her driver’s license revoked after picking up one too many speeding tickets, it was revealed this week. It's also been claimed she recently moved house after one of her dad's dogs killed one of her beloved Bengal cats. READ  

Photo of the Day
Jay Z and Beyonce bump into Sark-O at the footy
"Don't laugh Jay-Z, I really am going to make a comeback Jay -Z". Photo: Franck Fife/AFP

Jay Z and Beyonce bump into Sark-O at the footy

Jay Z and his wife Beyonce were the surprise celeb guests at PSG's Champions League clash with Barcelona in Paris on Tuesday night where they bumped into the former French president Nicolas Sarkozy. But what could Sarkozy be saying here to the US rapper? READ  

Suspects identified in Frenchman's beheading
A photo paying homage to French tourist Hervé Gourdel who was beheaded in Algeria. Photo: Jean-Christophe Magnenet/AFP

Suspects identified in Frenchman's beheading

Some of the suspects in the kidnapping and beheading of French tourist Hervé Gourdel in Algeria have been identified, a minister in the north African country said on Tuesday. READ  

French Budget 2015
Budget 2015: €21 billion savings plus tax cuts
Protesters in France make their feelings clear about the government's efforts to balance the books. Photo: Bertrand Guay/AFP

Budget 2015: €21 billion savings plus tax cuts

France's eagerly awaited 2015 budget was revealed on Wednesday which includes €21 billion of savings, a hike in the tax on diesel fuel as well as income tax cuts. The country's deficit would be brought in line with EU rules by 2017. READ  

PSG 3 - Barcelona 2
PSG's Blanc: 'We do our job for nights like this'
PSG's Blaise Matuidi leads the celebrates after his team's famous victory over Barcelona on Tuesday night. Photo: Franck Fife/AFP

PSG's Blanc: 'We do our job for nights like this'

French champions Paris Saint-Germain earned a historic victory against Spanish giants Barcelona in the Champions League on Tuesday night. Here's all the reaction from PSG's delighted coach Laurent Blanc and his counterpart at Barca Luis Enrique. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Culture
Caption contest: What happened when Jay Z met Sark O?
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Marks and Spencer: Win €300 toward your new autumn wardrobe
International
This explains why the French never seem to get a sense of déjà vu?
National
VIDEO: Here's a view from the Eiffel Tower you haven't seen before
Travel
Do Paris's iconic rooftops deserve Unesco World Heritage status?
Opinion
'France cannot reform, the pilots' strike showed us this'
National
'We just don’t work hard enough in France.' Is that true?
International
France has moved to beef up security in various public places
National
Hiking naked in France does not come risk-free
Culture
10 French customs that confuse Anglos
National
IN PICTURES: A look inside France's 'most notorious' prison
International
Isis urges killing of 'spiteful, dirty' French
National
Paris installs new device to stop 'love lock' craze
National
Paris cabby dies in vicious high-heel attack
National
'Paris is a sexy city, its beauty is inspiring'
Culture
Depardieu: ‘I drink 14 bottles of booze a day’
National
Top French chefs want banned bird on menu
National
VIDEO: Making of French rugby hunk calendar
National
Ten great bars in Paris only locals know about
Society
France's top expat tribes: Which are you?
National
France to set flat-rate for Paris airport taxis
Politics
French separatists want Scots to say 'yes'
National
Anti-dog poo offensive launched in French town
National
Scammers attack Paris's top cop at tourist hotspot
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se