3-phase plan for Paris Metro Expansion. From Le Figaro

Amidst all the depressing funding news surrounding our region’s transit ambitions, here is some positive transit news from the City of Light. The Transport Politic has a full run-down of Paris’s 125-mile, 72-station, €20.5 billion ($29.5 billion) expansion plan for their Metro. Amazingly, work is scheduled to begin in 2014, with the first stations opening by 2017 and the entire expansion complete by 2025. I’ll believe it when I see it.

It’s startling to see how much money can be raised so quickly by such a large city when the political institutions favor central-directed action:

Of total funding for the new lines, €4 billion will be granted from the national government, €1.5 billion from local governments, €7 billion from loans, €7 billion from new taxes on commercial activity and real estate (€500 million will be collected this year alone), and €1 billion from existing taxes. The state intends to use eminent domain to redevelop land around each of the stations. It will use the funds it accumulates through sales and added-value taxes to help pay off debt.

14 Replies to “Paris’s Plan for 200 km of New Metro Lines”

  1. This is also an attempt to expand the City of Paris’ boundaries out to the ring formed by this project because, in part, so many corporate HQ’s are now located in La Defense and other communes outside of Paris propr, but inside this ring:


  2. This is a city that will spend $5 billion US on just one museum in the same amount of time. I’m sure if they want to build 3 new metro lines they can.

  3. The nice thing is that by 2025 I’ll be able to fly into Paris, get on a train directly from the airport, and travel to the center of the city.

    We can do that now in Seattle, we just can’t go anywhere beyond the city center by train.

    Perhaps by 2025 we’ll be able to go to Bellevue, but only if the city council stops fighting before the funding dries up.

    I’ve always loved visiting Paris, partly because exploring the metro meant that I went all over town without having a vehicle of my own.

    1. You can do that in Paris now, too. The RER already goes to Charles De Gaulle airport.

  4. Very interesting…questions though.

    Will these lines be the same standard Metro technology as in Paris?

    In Europe do they not use the light-heavy rail definitions for inner core/outer ring transport?

    Aren’t there existing inter-city lines that handle this sort of traffic?

    1. These would all be considered heavy rail by our terminology. There are some surface tram lines in other areas of Paris (not the central city, I believe).

      In terms of stop spacing and travel times, they will be comparable to RER lines, not the Metro. However you can see from the drawing that one of the lines will be an extension of RATP line 14. That line is the newest Metro line and is automated, as these trains will be.

      These lines will mostly enable suburb to suburb travel which will relieve crowding on the lines in the center. As I understand, for the ‘burbs that currently have rapid transit, many trips would involve going into the city.

  5. These new lines will be the same as M14 which is an automated metro line. These will be high capacity trains in the most part (The line via St quentin is suburban in the anglo sense and will only have trains for 250 passengers). These lines stations are much further apart than the existing Metro and therefore faster.

    The aim is for 95% of all jobs to be accessible by Metro and by providing fast suburb links reduce the crush in the centre and reduce driving. These lines are expected to knock 20-30 minutes off many commutes.

  6. Nearly all European cities transit is radially focused into the city centre. There are exceptions particularly Berlin.

    London has been beefing up its orbital lines with much greater frequencies and new stations, but they are much shorter trains than the commuter trains heading for the centre.

    There bigger the city the heavier the mode of transport as a general rule. The Parisien ‘Suburbs’ near the Periphique are denser than many cites so can easily support these new orbital metros.

    While their is a clear hierarchy in transit in european cities it is not purely location specific.

    German cities have a hierarchy of regional trains to surrounding towns, then usually S Bahn commuter trains that run at least half hourly(often more) and combine into neat metro services in the central urban area. Depending on the city there will also be a modernised tram network, which has some sections that are like a trolley others that are like an LRT line. Over time some cities buried these in their city centres and will called U Bahn, but they are not Metro’s The Biggest cities will also have Metros.

    Major British cities have wide network of commuter lines,that run all day and weekends,at much greater frequencies than US networks. Some are almost at S Bahn levels.

    Other cities also have LRT networks and metros, but is more to do with the fads and fashions of transport investment than anything else. London is of course a different kettle of fish. After the fallow years of the 70’s and 80’s transport investment has been pouring into the city but even though planned capacity is supposed to increase by 44% in the next 15-20 years demand is expected to soar by 70% over the same period!

  7. Isn’t socialism great? France is melting down all around with immigration problems, a tanking economy and an aging, declining populace – what a great way to burn through lots of money!!!

    1. When you get too old to take care of yourself and the native born population is too old and underpopulated to empty your bed-pan, you might be glad to have nice people from elsewhere around.

      Never lived in any of our ruggedly individualistic states where without defense projects, rural electrification, Federal highways and prisons, the whole place would blow away with the rest of the dried barnyard stuff.

      So can’t tell about socialism.

      Mark Dublin

    2. This comment does indicate what would happen if you tried to convince a Republican (especially a Hannityite) using this – they’d just shake their head and mutter something about “European socialists”.

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