Life could be about to get just a little less chaotic for commuters and other public transport users in Paris, with the RATP – the company that runs the bus and Metro networks rolling out what it calls “significant improvements to passenger information”.
The newly revamped “RATP Apps” portal will go live on Wednesday on the RATP website, offering 12 new apps from everything to entertainment to travel.
On top of this, there will be a separate new app offering real time information for the RER A, the capital's busiest line that runs from east to west and passes through the financial district of La Défense.
The app, which is called “monRERA” and will be launched next week, will be welcome news for commuters on what is Europe's busiest rail line, carrying 1.2 million passengers a day.
It will offer up-to-the-minute information about delays, estimated travel times, and will alert when congestion is particularly heavy.
Metro users on other lines will see plenty of upgrades and add-ons among the new apps, including added information about the availability of escalators and elevators, and even the Vélib' public bicycle stations that are nearby.
For those desperate to save a minute or two, there'll even be a new feature telling which end of the train to stand on in order to arrive in front of the optimal exit at your destination.
There will also be a “Visitobus” feature, that will give an English audio guide on bus trips, and a “Secrets of Paris” feature in French for discovering behind the scenes treasures of the capital.
Lastly, for those extra long commutes, Parisians will have access to two games: “Game in Town” and “Paris Metro Simulator”.
The jury is still out on whether the games will be any good, but if you find yourself on an RER heading to the airport that's gotten stuck in a tunnel then you may be glad to have downloaded it.
The original RATP app is used by more than half of Parisians, mostly for information about getting from A to B on the sometimes confusing Metro lines.