The RATP is the Régie autonome des transports parisiens and was created in 1949 to insure and oversee all public transportation. Up until 1944, the companies were private enterprises.
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Use Navigo for Weekend and Holiday Advantages
Ticket information sources:
- Tickets and passes
- RATP tickets explained
- RATP day ticket
- RER/RATP Tourists use the “Travelling” tab.
- When using the RER to reach Paris or starting in Paris for another destination (airport, for example) your RER ticket is valid for a metro transfer. Even if you leave the station, your ticket is valid.
- It is not valid for a bus.
- Transilien/SNCF Website for general route planning and RER/metro ticket information
- STIF Tarif Guide (in French)
- RATP maps
- RATP Grand Plan Bus avec rues (with streets)
- RATP Grand Plan Metro avec rues (with streets)
- All the Paris transport maps for Metro, RER, Tramway, Bus, Noctilien (night bus), Transilien/SNCF
Montmartrobus (Montmartre bus)
Sightseeing in the metro – .pdf document from the old Web site
Transilien/SNCF map of Ile-de-France network map (includes all RERs)
Montmartre bus (Montmartrobus)
Paying for your ticket
Use Euros in cash or change at the ticket dispenser in the metro (one dispenser is for credit cards only, the other for both credit cards and cash).
Credit cards without the smart chip (puce) are permitted at the metro information window. The attendants usually speak rudimentary English; enough to answer your questions.
What is STIF?
STIF organizes the public transport in the Great Paris Area. It has provided significant financial support and assistance in developing this service. STIF is managed by elected people of the Regional Council and the Councils of the eight departments of the Great Paris Area. Its mission is to coordinate, arranging funding, improve and develop public transport in the Great Paris Area.
If you have been to Paris before, you might know your way around. Consider the ten ticket (carnet) of transportation tickets in combination with walking. The tickets (Use Google Translate) are good for Paris transportation: buses, metros, electric bus through Montmartre (Montmartrobus), the tramway, and the RERs within Paris.
If you have not been to Paris before and especially with children, it might be fun to see the city from the top of a double decker bus. I recommend L’Open Tour because of its numerous stops along regular bus routes and its scenic routes. There is an advantage of having shared stops when you decide to go to a part of town not on the Open Tour route and you have your “Ticket t+“. Keep in mind you have 90 minutes to make transfers using the same ticket.
If you plan four days in Paris, I would suggest buying a ticket on the Open Tour bus for two days and use it as your sightseeing vehicle or the weekly pass Navigo Semaine. It has more stops than Les Cars Rouges. Read more and look at the routes on their Web sites. Otherwise, the Mobilis (day card) is a great value.
The RATP “Traveller’s Guide” describes the Paris network of transportation: The RER, the metro, tramway, bus and night transportation (Noctilien). Click on each of the plus signs.
Paris Tourist Office sightseeing/tourist guides are free at their offices or available for download on line.
I found that the Mobiletag Barcodes Reader on iTunes (free) is very handy for traveling by bus in Paris. Most bus stops have a GPS connection and the next two buses register your wait time. It’s hand in case you want to double check, with the Mobiletag app. You can read any barcode with this application (grocery shopping, for example)
Question about carnets and transfers
Dickson asked about buying a carnet (ten tickets) on bus 350 (Charles de Gaulle airport to Gare de l’Est):
“I’m planning to buy a Carnet and take the 350 bus from CDG to Gare de L’est. Could I transfer to another bus for free using the original 3 tickets from Bus 350? I can’t find the info anywhere and hope you’ll know.”
The answer to her question is “no”. Here is more information on the subject from RATP:
The Ticket t+ is valid only for one way on the metro, all of the buses in Ile-de-France, on the bus network using the Ticket t+ purchased at the ticket window (individually or as a carnet (10 tickets). You can make a connection with this ticket during a 1 ½ hour period (see the restrictions below).
Ticket and Transfer Restrictions:
Transfers are valid only for bus to bus, between bus and tramway and tram to tram. The ticket is not valid for taking the same bus/tram during this 1 ½ hour period.
The Ticket t+ is not valid on lines with special tariffs: Orlybus, Roissybus, 350, 351 or 299.
The transfer option is only valid with tickets purchased either as a carnet, from the metro ticket machines or if using a non-smart chip credit card from a metro ticket office. Those tickets purchased from the bus or tramway driver are not valid for the transfer option.
There is no transfer between the bus, the RER or the metro with the Ticket t+.
Tramway and transfers:
A one way transfer is possible for 1 ½ hours between bus lines, bus to tramway and tram to tram.
Ticket t+ are valid on all the RER lines that fall with Paris zones (1 and 2), unless you purchased tickets with additional zones.
Sightseeing Outside Paris with Transilien (trains) using the Navigo Monthly or Annual Passes.