Access in Paris – helpful guide book
Infomobi.com (Use Google Translate)
The Infomobi.com Web site provides travel services using public transportation.
Their telephone number is 08 10 64 64 64. Their office is open Monday to Friday between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Their offices are closed Sunday and holidays.
If you need bus access, Infomobi.com photos show how the bus ramp works.
You will find maps and accessibility information, personalized itineraries (you can contact them ahead of time to establish when help will be needed, for example) — download the map
An additional maps is available for Ile-de-France (Paris is part of this department).
These maps will help you while searching the internet; hard copies are available in metro stations (accessible only by stairs).
Take the RER
Although the metro is not really set up for wheelchairs, the many RER stations are. The list on the RATP website, however, is incomplete. If you ask questions of anyone not associated with the RER lines specifically, they have no clue. In fact, they do not realize that the maps they give out contain the very information that you are looking for.
For example, ask for Map #1 (Plan des lignes) at any metro station or “le Club” office (in the metro – not accessible by the way). Inside you will see a map of the RER lines in Ile-de-France (Paris is in the Département no. 75)
Disneyland to Paris — Train, Shuttles and Taxis
RER A – Buy a day pass called Mobilis (buy zone 1-5) or combined entry and travel ticket at a RER or Metro ticket office.
The Disneyland stop is Marne-la-Vallée-Chessy. It lies in zone 5 (Paris lies in zones 1 and 2). The station is accessible to wheelchairs.
Use the Mobilis pass for all buses and metros and RER’s (midnight to midnight). Buy a day pass called Mobilis (buy zone 1-5 between Disneyland and downtown Paris).
This ticket can be purchased in advanced. Once validated in the RER or metro, you only need show it on the bus — do not revalidate it. When you buy your ticket at a ticket counter in the RER, they will call someone to assist you. Tell them your end station so it can be determined if you will need assistance at that end. If your end station is Auber (for the Opera, Galeries Lafayette, Printemps, etc.) you will not need assistance. Just make sure that the elevator is working — they will check that for you if you ask.
Pick up a map (Plan 1 – plan des lignes) at any RER (or metro station if some one catch run down and get it for you). The map shows you which stations have accessibility to elevators.
Transportation options – Taxis, private cars
The Paris Tourist Office offers a comprehensive list of transportation options for disabled access. Click on “Maps & transport” and then “Disabled access” to the left.
Mobile en Ville
This Web site (choose your language) provides the latest news, “rando” information (“INFOS RANDOS”) — get togethers with roller skaters and other means of non-motorized wheel traveling activities. They offer the site of the month, guides, maps, promenades, transport information, a list of WC accessibility at restaurants, theaters, churches, etc. (Use Google Translate). Wheel chair “Randos” take place every month, second Sunday of the month. Meet up takes place at 2 p.m. for a 2:30 p.m. departure from Place du Palais-Royal in Paris. Return to the same spot at 6:30 p.m.
Call in advance to let them know you are coming: Amélie at 06 82 21 72 16 (long distance +33 6 82 91 72 16). On the Mobile Ville calendar page are helpful conditions to consider. The randonée will be cancelled in case of rain. They travel between 10 and 20 kilometers. The route is accessible to all in wheel chairs. If using an electric chair, make sure the charge will last the whole afternoon. They travel about 10 km/hour.
They ask that you have a security belt on your wheel chair, otherwise, be prepared to sign a release that you are aware of potential risks releasing Mobile Ville of liability.
TAXIS G7 for individual requests
Disabled / Specialist transport – Taxis accessible for persons with wheelchairs. Since September 2004, new “G7 Horizon” service , with 30 top-op-the-range people carriers, equipped with a pivoting seat or an access ramp. 24-hour booking service, 7 days a week. Taxis G7 telephone in English 01 41 27 66 99 or 01 47 39 00 91 (email: horizon at taxis-g7.com)
Taxi PMR – Their Web site is only in French and has annoying music and pop-ups. According to the Paris Tourist Office PMR has two adapted Mercedes (“1 disabled people in wheel chair and 2 or 3 other persons“).
Paris Tourist Office (PTO) handicap access link with information about the SNCF and RATP — what is provided and who to call for information.
Horizon G7 and PMR are registered with the Paris Tourist Office.
Les Coccinelles – Paris Tourist Office “Les Coccinelles” information in English. Their website is currently unavailable. You may attempt to contact them: 33 rue Ernest Renan
94200 Ivry-sur-SeineTelephone : +33 (0) 1 56 20 26 00 – Fax : +33 (0) 1 56 20 26 01
Les Compagnons du voyage – Not sure if they can accommodate English-speaking visitors.
RER B Elevator access
An elevator is under construction at the Saint-Michel Notre-Dame RER station (rue Xavier Privas). an RATP agent will be available to help you access the platform (quai). The scheduled opening is 2008. At this time, the transportation agency is not providing the names of other stations accessible. This is a great start!
This is good news if the airport stations (CDG/Roissy and ORY) will also be included. I will keep checking. For more information about RER elevator accessibility, pick up a map No. 1 at any RER or metro station.
At top of the page with the RER map, you will see the stations and those designated with the symbol. The red asterisk means that assistance is needed. Just ask at the ticket counter or push the red button at the elevator.
The Paris buses are accessible to wheel chairs and baby strollers so enjoy Paris above ground!
The Eurostar – Travelers in wheel chairs.
Once you decide on a country to use: UK/USA/France, you can select the link “Wheelchair user?” on the “Book Online” . Why use the UK website? It provides more hotel + train combinations whether you are doing round trip London/Paris or Paris/London or one-way travel.
Passengers in wheel chairs can reserve a specifically-designated space in either Leisure Select class or Business Premier class. One person may travel with you at a reduced rate.
Seat type (description, seat width and leg room)
Space for wheel chair – 665 mm (509 mm if the armrest is lowered)
Seat reserved for traveling companion – 665 mm (509 mm if the armrest is lowered).
Legroom: 925 mm
Are you in a motorized wheel chair?
Passengers wishing to take their motorized chair for the voyage are allowed to keep them with you on board the Eurostar with any additional cost in the Eurostar’s special baggage compartment. Access to the trains and the platform are by ramp and lifts.
The wheel chair should have a width less than 100 cm (1 meter).
In order to assure that a special seat is available for your voyage, including connections during peak periods and peak times (weekend, holidays, school holidays), you are advised to notify Eurostar before your arrival by calling: Eurodespatch at 0044 (0)8705 850850 daily between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m.
Important information from the UK Eurostar website:”Do you use a mobility scooter?
“Travellers who require mobility scooters to be taken with them during their journeys may carry them on board Eurostar without additional charge in the special luggage hold on our trains.
In order for the scooter to be able to access our platforms and trains via the lifts and ramps, it should not exceed 100cm (1 metre) in width.
To make sure that space is made available on busier services and during peak travel times such as Weekends, Bank Holidays and School Holidays, you should advise Eurostar in advance of your arrival by calling Eurodespatch (08705 850850 from 07:00 to 21:00 daily).
If you arrive unannounced at Eurostar terminals we cannot guarantee the required space on your intended service.
Scooters that use combustible fuel cannot be carried on any Eurostar service only battery-powered mobility scooters are allowed.”
Seat map from UK website – The Eurostar website says that their trains are larger than jumbo jets; they have counted the seats!
Travel Deals with Eurostar
You will find travel deals (train + hotel) on the the UK website that are not available on the USA website. Their Web site provides suggestions and a rate calendar (some days being less expensive to stay at a particular hotel than other days).
SNCF – Train accessibility (Use Google Translate)
Awareness of the importance of modifying structures and sensitivity awareness in the arena of Paris tourism is relatively new and improving constantly. Buses have been constructed to increase the ease of using public transportation.
The lower steps and mid-doors allow easier accessibility for wheel chairs, baby carriages and those who use support apparatus to move around. New construction built after 1978 is required to have accessibility for those with limited mobility.
The whole idea of awareness in the tourist industry only dates from 1997. The labeling in place dates from 2001 and is geared toward four specific handicaps: motor, mental, visual and auditory.