Photo by Chris Card Fuller ©2007
Maybe you are hesitant about going underground. I remember the first week or so being in Paris as a student – and kind of waiting for someone else to show me the ropes on the Paris Metro system. As subway systems go, Paris has one of the more user friendly systems in the world. As I’ve mentioned in past posts your individual unused Metro tickets may change colors over the years, but they’re still as good as gold if they haven’t yet been run through the scanner.
The one thing you’ll notice if you haven’t been using the Metro in the last few years is that you’ll discover more stations with fewer manned ticket sales desks. That means – oh God, yet another MACHINE to deal with. Kim at Slow Travel has written a nice description of these new machines and how to use them.
The last time I used one of these machines at La Defense, I ended up buying tickets at a higher rate (for several zones, instead of the standard Zone 1 which includes all of Paris with in the peripherique. If you read Kim’s patient and precise description of the way to use the machine, she’ll even take you one more step and show you through the turnstile – zip in your ticket to be electronically stamped, then take it out again, hold on to it until you finish your journey. You never know when an inspector may be standing at the end of the line waiting for you to present your proof of payment. (This holds true for the bus service as well.)
Keep in mind that as of July 1st, 2007, the Metro ticket rates have increased to 1.50 Euros. The carnet now costs 11.10 Euros.
I still am somewhat mystified about why the rate for a Paris Visite card costs 8.50 for one day while a Mobilis card costs 5.60 for one day of infinite use.
You’ll probably discover, that in the long run, the ‘carnet’ a book of ten tickets is the most versatile. You can use the tickets whenever you want and you can use them interchangeably with friends, so you don’t have to put out 17 Euros in one fell swoop (to purchase two Paris Visite cards for example). If you’re planning on doing a lot of Metro travel in one day, you might prefer to use the Mobilis or the Paris Visite card. Keep in mind that if you’re going to places like Disney world or th airport, you need to include all five zones when you purchase your ticket.