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How Paris public transport works could disrupt your summer

As usual, there will be some disgruntled commuters on the Metro and RER networks during both July and August, with several construction sites set to affect the city's rail system.

How Paris public transport works could disrupt your summer
Photo: AFP
It's summer, which as many of you know, means the Paris transport networks will not be operating as smoothly as they normally do. 
Every year the biggest construction projects are carried out on the transport networks during the summer, simply because the number of people using the system drops by 30 percent as Parisians head for the hills… or the sea. 
This of course means that fewer people's journeys are affected… but that might not be a great source of comfort if you're among those who are still working. 

Paris: How transport works could disrupt your summer Photo: AFP

In 2019 alone, SNCF Réseau (which manages the infrastructure) and the Paris transport operator RATP are investing nearly €4 billion on maintaining and modernising infrastructure on the transport network of the greater Paris region Ile-de-France.
“During the holidays, we continue to work, to improve comfort, punctuality, and modernise our equipment,” Philippe Martin, Deputy General Manager of RATP told the French press.
Here are the projects scheduled for July and August 2019.
On RER A, Europe's busiest train line, all stations between Auber and Vincennes will be closed from August 10th to 18th, including weekends. This will see the closure of the Châtelet-les-Halles, Gare de Lyon and Nation stations to RER A services. However for the rest of the summer, services will operate until 10 pm from July 13th to August 4th, and until 9 pm from August 5th to September 1st.
Around €100 million is being invested in the 40-year-old line in order to renew all the tracks by 2021. 
Meanwhile on RER B the Saint-Rémy-lès-Chevreuse will be out of service from July 20th to July 28th from Lozère and from July 29th to August 25th from Orsay. 
On RER C, major work will be carried out to modernise the line, meaning that the central section from Javel to Austerlitz will be closed from July 15th to August 24th. Passengers will have to look for alternative routes using line 10 of the Paris Metro or the 63 bus. The RER C also won't be running between Massy-Verrières and Chemin d'Antony, from August 14th-18th. 
Photo: AFP
On top of that RER E will also be disrupted. Construction work to adapt the platforms to the right height for the RER NG (new generation) is set to take place over the summer. That means there will be no trains to Saint-Lazare station or Gare du Nord from July 15th to August 25th. However there will be extra trains on line 7 of the Metro to help ease the situation. 
On RER D between Creil and Orry-la-Ville-Coye in the Oise services will be disrupted every night, with a bus replacement service in operation from 11.30 pm from July 1st to September 1st. There will also be disruption to the service between Villeneuve-Saint-Georges and Melun from July 13th-14th.
For anyone travelling on RER D on the weekend of August 24th-25th, there will be disruptions between Savigny-le-Temple and Le Mée in Seine-et-Marne.
Everyone loves a summer makeover… except perhaps those who use line 6 of the Paris Metro to commute to work. 
It's one of the French capital's best lines for views but, built in 1903, it's time for an update, which means it will be cut between Montparnasse and Trocadero, from July 1st to September 1st in both directions. And it will also be disrupted between Trocadero and Etoile from August 15th-18th. A replacement bus service is set to service all the stations that are closed for the construction.
Services will also be disrupted on line 4 of the Paris Metro on July 21st and 28th (both Sundays) until 10am, and until July 25th services will stop at 11:30 pm, Monday to Thursday.
Finally for the Metro, Châtelet station on line 11 will be closed until December 16th, with services stopping instead at Hôtel-de-Ville.
Photo: AFP
There will also be some disruption on the tramways this summer. 
The T4 will not be running at all so that the extension of the line can be finished, which means the entire tram line running from Bondy to Aulnay-sous-Bois will not be operating until September. Substitute buses will be in place.
Elsewhere on the city's tram lines, the T1 services between Hospital-De La Fontaine and Hôtel de Ville- La Courneuve will no be running from July 8th to August 4th, while on the T2 services will be disrupted between Parc-de-Saint-Cloud and Porte-de-Versailles from July 20th to August 23rd, and on the T3a services will be disrupted from Porte-d'Ivry and Porte-d'Italie from July 22nd to August 23rd. Bus replacement services will be operating on all lines. 

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Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

Car, moped, public transport, or electric bicycle - which means of transport is the quickest way to get across Paris?

Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

One intrepid reporter for French daily Le Parisien decided to find out. 

The challenge was simple. Which mode of transport would get the journalist from the heart of Fontenay-sous-Bois in the eastern suburbs to the newspaper’s office on Boulevard de Grenelle, west Paris, fastest?

Over four separate journeys, each one in the middle of rush hour, the electric bicycle was quickest and easiest. More expensive than conventional bikes, electric bikes do come with a government subsidy.

The journey was described as ‘pleasant and touristy’ on a dry but chilly morning going via dedicated cycle lanes that meant the dogged journalist avoided having to weave in and out of traffic.

It took, in total, 47 minutes from start to finish at an average speed of 19km/h, on a trip described as “comfortable” but with a caveat for bad weather. The cost was a few centimes for charging up the bike.

In comparison, a car journey between the same points took 1 hour 27 minutes – a journey not helped by a broken-down vehicle. Even accounting for that, according to the reporter’s traffic app, the journey should – going via part of the capital’s southern ringroad – have taken about 1 hr 12.

Average speed in the car was 15km/h, and it cost about €2.85 in diesel – plus parking.

A “chaotic and stressful” moped trip took 1 hour 3 minutes, and cost €1.30 in unleaded petrol.

Public transport – the RER and Metro combined via RER A to Charles-de-Gaulle-Étoile then Metro line 6 to the station Bir-Hakeim – took 50 minutes door to door, including a 10-minute walk and cost €2.80. The journey was described as “tiring”.

READ ALSO 6 ways to get around Paris without the Metro