• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Are Paris commuters becoming more polite?

Sophie Inge · 12 May 2014, 15:17

Published: 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.

Story continues below…

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.”  

Sophie Inge (sophie.inge@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Police evict 1,350 migrants from Paris camp once again
All photos: AFP

A huge group of migrants has been evicted from the Stalingrad Metro area in Paris, for the third time in three months.

Frenchwoman killed closing window shutters in storm
File photo: Julie Kertesz/Flickr

Storms claimed the life of a woman in France at the weekend, when she was killed trying to close her shutters.

French rail passengers must now pay for ticket changes
Photo: AFP

From now on passengers on French trains will have to pay for last-minute changes to their tickets.

How things change in France from May 2016
Photo: AFP

The beginning of the month of May brings with it more changes to everyday life in France.

Frenchman sues firm for being 'bored out' of his job
Photo: Tahir Hashmi/Flickr

You've heard of a burnout. This guy says he lost his job because of "bore out". A first in France.

'They are lost': Journalist infiltrates French jihadist cell
Photo: AFP

"I never saw Islam in this affair, just lost frustrated youths," says a French journalist who managed to infiltrate a cell of jihadists, planning to launch an attack in France.

May Day march in Paris descends into violent clashes
May Day protests in Paris end in violence once again. Photo: AFP

There was yet more violence between police and protesters in Paris on Sunday as the annual May Day labour protests turned ugly.

French far-right family feud exposed at May Day rallies
Leader of French far-right party Front National (FN) Marine Le Pen. Photo: AFP

There were barely enough statues of Joan of Arc to go around in Paris on Sunday as feuding factions of France's far-right National Front (FN) held rival May Day rallies at the feet of their heroine.

Copyright expires on Bolero, French classical favourite
Musicians of the "Orchestre Lamoureux" perform Maurice Ravel's Bolero. Photo: AFP

Almost 90 years after it was first performed in Paris, the copyright runs out on Sunday on one of the most popular and unique pieces of classical music, Ravel's "Bolero".

France to increase forces in Ivory Coast
French troops based in Abidjan and a soldier from Ivory Coast's Republican Forces carry a soldier during a military exercise. Photo: AFP

France will increase the number of its troops in Ivory Coast, Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Friday on a trip to the African nation which hosts a regional base for French forces.

Sponsored Article
How to launch your international career
French rail passengers must now pay to change their tickets
Sponsored Article
What's the best way for expats to transfer money abroad?
Society
Protesters clash with police over France's new labour laws
National
French dangerously 'unprepared' for future natural disasters
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Is it really safe to come to France for Euro 2016?
National
Salah Abdeslam: Pot-smoking 'little moron' is finally back in Paris
Society
PICTURES: Snow falls in Paris... at the end of April?
Rail strike: Passengers in France face major disruption
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Cats in a cafe?!? Nine of the quirkiest things you can see in Paris
National
VIDEO: The moment a Paris suicide bomber blew himself up
National
Why there's another rail strike in France and why there will be more
National
Winter is coming (back). Why is France so cold right now?
National
WWI's Anzac Day heroes honoured in northern France service
Lifestyle
VIDEO: Did you know all these stars spoke great French?
Culture
How did the French end up with their 'crazy' numbers?
Politics
Why this man could become the next president of France
Society
VIDEO: Jewellers in southern France raided by... swarm of bees
Culture
Did you know the strange origins of these six French curse words?
Why are more and more people dying on French roads?
National
VIDEO: Mass street brawl erupts at Paris migrant camp
Culture
Film 'Chocolat' highlights taboo of race problem in French cinema
Society
British people have been urged to come to France... and to get naked
Culture
15 reasons Clermont-Ferrand is the best place in France
National
Eight tips for buying wine in a French supermarket
2,783
jobs available