• 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
Fêtes de Bayonne
France's wildest festival gets underway amid tight security
Festival goers in Bayonne - a sea of red and white. Photo: AFP

Over the coming days around a million revellers are expected at what is arguably the wildest, most raucous and most colourful event in France.

Media in France pull photos of jihadists to stop 'glorification'
Many media in France will stop publishing photos of the likes of Toulouse gunman Mohamed Merah (above).

Mainstream media in France decide to stop publishing photos of jihadists behind terror attacks to avoid giving them the notoriety and glory they seek.

France could cancel summer events over terror fears
Photo: AFP

Summer events in towns and villages across France could be cancelled if there is a lack of security.

VIDEO: Police raid on French church captured on video
Photo: Le Telegramme

Part of the police stand-off at the church in northern France where two jihadists killed a priest was caught on camera by a witness.

EU picks Frenchman to lead Brexit talks with UK
Photo: AFP

A Frenchman will lead the fraught Brexit talks between the EU and the UK over the coming years.

France seeks unity and resists calls to toughen terror laws
Photo: AFP

Does France need tough new laws or cohesion and unity among its communities?

The best and worst things about France in the summer
Photo: AFP

There are some things that make France the best place to be in summer, and then there are others that drive us mad.

Air France passengers set for week of travel misery
Photo: AFP

One third of Air France flights to be scrapped on Wednesday as week-long strike begins.

How was 'ticking time bomb' free to attack French church?
Photo taken from Facebook page believed to belong to Adel Kermiche.

France facing more questions about security measures after priest slain during mass by known extremist who was awaiting trial.

France faces same big questions after latest attack
Photo: AFP

The latest terror attack has left France facing similar questions to those it has tackled numerous times since the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January last year. So how will France react?

Sponsored Article
5 reasons to try dating in Paris with The Inner Circle
France: A timeline of terror since the Charlie Hebdo attack
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
A timeline of terror in France since Charlie Hebdo
Culture
Thirteen free and easy ways to learn French
Culture
32 mistakes foreigners make when they arrive in France
National
Here are the worst scams to avoid whilst driving in France
Analysis & Opinion
Isis can simply be a conduit for the violent desires of psychopaths
Features
Six outdoor bars in Paris you simply must visit
Culture
The open-air Villette cinema has been cancelled over security fears
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Culture
Henri Rousseau exhibition proves huge hit in Paris
National
Frenchman caught trying to sell Nice massacre souvenirs online
Society
OPEN NOW: Here's why you should head to the Paris Plages
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Culture
What's on in France: Still plenty to see and do in July
Lifestyle
Treasures of Versailles to go on display in Australia
National
How to keep cool during France's heatwave
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
Nice attack: What we know so far
National
Nice attacker: Body-building, drug-taking, violent flirt
National
IN IMAGES: Drawings in tribute to Nice attack victims
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Society
Promenade des Anglais: The iconic heart of the French Riviera
France faces more questions after latest deadly attack
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
National
Why is France the target of choice for jihadist attacks?
National
Nice truck attack: 'Bodies went flying like bowling pins'
Nice attack: Families of missing make pleas on Twitter
Politics
Boris Johnson cheered and booed at Bastille Day party
2,764
jobs available