Cars and Motorcycles
Like other large European cities, space is at a premium so small cars are more practical for narrow streets and parking purposes. Consequently, there are a considerable number of motorcycles, but few SUV’s and minivans. Although the driving age is 18, few have cars at that age.
There is an excellent network of buses and a subway system in Paris that extends out to the suburbs. Students can purchase a discounted monthly pass that is inexpensive and practical. Although the Paris Métro subway is the fastest and easiest to navigate, buses offer a more enjoyable experience due to the ability to look out the window. My host sister and I took the bus to and from school twice as day when we returned home for lunch.
Students take either a taxi or an Uber ride once the Métro lines close in the early hours of the morning.
Vélib’ Bike Sharing
This bicycle sharing program is extremely practical and allows you to get from one location to the next with very little cost incurred.
Within France, many travel by car or train to reach their destinations. The train network is excellent and timely. The airline Air France operates a variety of flights within the country at relatively low prices.
France is notorious for strikes, especially in the domain of transportation, and often on short notice. Paris becomes crippled when Métro and bus workers go on strike. I was equally inconvenienced when air traffic controllers went on strike and was detoured to Frankfurt, Germany before landing in Paris 12 hours late. Trains can also fall victim to strikes that may thwart travel plans.
Walking remains Parisians’ number one choice in getting from point A to point B. Perhaps it is the interesting architecture, grand boulevards and alluring shops that make a walk in Paris such a pleasure.