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France facts: Pregnant women have to stand up for injured veterans on the Metro

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France facts: Pregnant women have to stand up for injured veterans on the Metro
Photo: AFP

Now readers of The Local are of course polite and courteous souls who would always give up their seat on the Metro for pregnant women, the elderly or disabled - but did you know there is a strict pecking order for who gets to sit down first?


The Paris Metro, like most public transport systems, has a number of 'priority seats' which should be reserved for those who need them most.

But unlike many other countries, who simply state that the seats are for pregnant women, the elderly or anyone with a disability and leaves them to fight it out among themselves if there are not enough seats to go round, Paris transport authorities have given the matter some serious thought.

And they have come up with a nine-point list showing who they think are the most deserving.

At the top of the list, able to claim a seat from absolutely anyone, are disabled war veterans.

Below war veterans are blind people, followed by disabled workers and disabled civilians who have difficulty in standing.

Pregnant women come in at number 5, in a blow to anyone who feels that growing an entire other human might at least entitled you to a sit down.

After pregnant women comes anyone who is accompanied by a child under the age of four.

Disabled non-military folk are at number 7, while at 8 is anyone who is not actually registered disabled but does have a card stating that they have difficulty standing.

And finally, in a blow for the 'respecting your elders' doctrine, people aged over 75 come last on the list.

Exactly how you're supposed to determine whether a disabled person is a war veteran or not, or whether an amputee is in work or not, is not specified in the Metro rulebook.

On the plus side, if you travel on certain lines during rush hour, the crush of people is so intense that your fellow passengers more or less hold you up anyway.




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