Paris Metro passenger numbers surge, making trains more crowded than ever

If you’re living in Paris and wondering if the Metro is is forever getting more and more packed - you’re right: the latest figures show that the system has had to deal with an extra 217,000 people a day over the past five years.

Paris Metro passenger numbers surge, making trains more crowded than ever
Yes the Paris Metro is crowded, and getting busier each year. Photo: AFP

The number of passengers the Metro and RER carries each year within the capital now stands at a staggering 1.8 billion, according to data from the RATP Paris transport authority.

And that figure is likely to grow, if current trends are maintained.

The increase is due to “the dynamism of economic activity…, the decrease in the use of private cars in the central zone (and) the decrease in the use of buses in Paris, by around 4 percent, because of major road works,” said the deputy boss of the RATP, Philippe Martin.

READ ALSO Revealed: Which Paris Metro and RER lines are the most punctual

He told Le Parisien, which revealed the RATP figures, that a Metro line is considered overloaded when there are more than four passengers per square metre. 

“That is why we sometimes talk of a 120 percent load on Line 13,” Martin said. “We aim for a 85-90 percent load at rush hour.”

The RATP figures show that some Metro stations have had a massive increase of people arriving there to take the train.

Mairie de Montrouge station, the terminus of Line 4,  tops the list, with a whopping 142 percent increase over the past five years. 

A total of 7,081,319 travellers started their journey there last year, compared to just under three million in 2013. 

Next is Front Populaire, on Line 12, which saw its numbers jump by 93 percent over five years, going from 1.5 million to nearly three million.

Such dramatic increases are usually due to the stations being linked to new tram lines or being near new office building developments.

The RATP figures are for the Paris city area, but the entire public transport system in the wider Paris region is also expected to show a large increase in passenger numbers, according to Le Parisien.

It is believed the figures will show a rise of 10.5 percent from 8.5 million eight years ago to 9.4 million last year.

There are also works on going to extend several Metro lines further out into the suburbs to enable more people to use the service for their daily commute.

READ ALSO The strange rules of the Metro you should probably know about


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Travel in Europe: UK to scrap all Covid travel rules

The UK is set to scrap all Covid-19 travel restrictions in what the government described as a "landmark moment".

Travel in Europe: UK to scrap all Covid travel rules

Testing is no longer required for vaccinated travellers, but the UK government has announced that it will scrap all Covid-19 travel rules on Friday, March 18th.

“As one of the first major economies to remove all its remaining Covid-19 travel restrictions, this is a landmark moment for passengers and the travel and aviation sector,” said the Government in a press release. 

From 4am on March 18th:

  • Passengers going to the UK will no longer be required to fill out a Passenger Locator Form before travel;
  • Passengers who are not vaccinated will not be required to take a pre-departure Covid test, or a Day 2 test following arrival. Fully vaccinated travellers are already exempt from having to do this;
  • Hotel quarantine for travellers coming from ‘red list’ countries, of which there are currently none, will also be scrapped by the end of the month. 

“We will continue monitoring and tracking potential new variants, and keep a reserve of measures which can be rapidly deployed if needed to keep us safe,” said UK Health Minister Sajid Javid. 

The UK has lifted all Covid-related rules including mask rules and mandatory self-isolation if you test positive for Covid.

Some European countries still have Covid restrictions in place for unvaccinated people coming from the UK. 

Until March 18th

Until the new rules come into effect, all travellers are required to fill out a passenger locator form. 

Unvaccinated travellers are also required to take pre-departure test and a test on or before Day 2 following their arrival. 

The UK border officers will recognise proof of vaccination provided with an EU Covid Certificate.

For the UK “fully vaccinated” means 14 days after your final dose of a EMA/FDA or Swiss approved vaccine (Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson). 

After a period of confusion, the UK government says that it will accept mixed doses administered in the EU (eg one dose of AstraZeneca and one of Pfizer).

However people who have only had a single dose after previously recovering from Covid – which is standard practice in some European countries – are not accepted as vaccinated by the UK.