Obviously it is never ideal to have a transit strike, especially one that is at the caliber of those presently forcing the French rails and Paris public transit system to a near standstill. But if there’s a city that can tolerate a transit strike, it’s Paris. The city is very walkable and pedestrian-friendly, there are protected bike lanes, and way too many scooters. Besides walking and taking cabs, here are 11 ways to get around Paris during the transit strike, and the deals being offered to use them. (See the bottom of the article for how transit will be disrupted in Paris on Thursday, December 5.)
1. Vélib Métropole
Wrap your scarf tight and borrow a bike. There are more than 16,500 self-service electric and mechanical bikes and 1,400 dock stations in the Paris and metro area.
Offer: Sign up for V-Plus (€3.10 per month) or V-Max (€8.30 per month) subscriptions between November 21 and December 15, 2019 and get the first month free. V-Plus and V-Max will both get you free rides on bikes for up to 30 minutes long, the V-Max gets you free rides on electric bikes up to the 30 minutes long, among other perks. Visit the Vélib Métropole page to subscribe and take advantage of the offer.
Those 12,000 Lime free-floating scooters don’t seem so bad now that you actually need one!
Offer: €1 discount on your trips on 5 December (for the first 25,000 users), then get a 10% discount on your journey for each day of the strike (enter the code each time you ride). Valid until February 5, 2020. Download the application appstore or GooglePlay and enter the code RATPLIME.
There are 1,000 freefloating Voi scooters around Paris. It costs €0.15 per minute to ride them.
Offer: A €5 credit and unlocking fees waived during peak hours (7 a.m. – 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. on weekdays). Download the application from the Voi website. Note that you must be in Paris to get the credit on your account. Offer valid for the duration of the strike.
4. JUMP by Uber
Hop on an electric bike or scooter courtesy of Uber. You can get one yourself in the Uber app. The cost of unlocking a bike or scooter is €1 and the journey is €0.15.
Offer: The unlocking fee is waived during the protests. Visit the Jump page to download the application and use the code RATPJUMP. The code will give you two trips per day, per user (5,000 code uses per day).
Batobus is like a bus on the Seine. What could be cooler?
Take an electric scooter to your destination. Cityscoot has thousands of self-service electric scooters in Paris and in a dozen suburbs around the city.
Offer: New registrations get 45 minutes of riding for free. Offer valid from November 28, 2019 to January 31, 2020. Download the Cityscoot application and register by using the RATPCITYSCOOT to get 45 free minutes.
Another free-floating scooter service!
Offer: Get 50% off all scooter rides. Valid December 5, 2019 to April 5, 2020. Download the application Circ and enter the code RATP50 by clicking on “promotions” on the left of the homepage.
Want to ride on a scooter (the kind you sit on) but are afraid to drive one yourself? Felix is the answer. It’s like Lyft but with electric scooters instead of cars, and you can zip through the traffic jams.
9. Open Tour Bus
Open Tour Bus isn’t just for sightseeing, it can get you where you want to go.
Offer: The price is the same, but if you’re desperate to avoid any suffering during the strikes it could be worth it.
Dott has a respectable 3,000 floating scooters in Paris, and insurance is included when you ride them.
Offer: Two free unlockings each day (offer limited to the first 5,000 registered users). Download the Dott app and enter the code RATP1219 in Promotions. Valid from December 5 to December 31.
11. Vedettes de Paris
Also not just for sightseeing, the Vedettes de Paris can provide transit on the Seine.
Offer: Get on and off by the Eiffel Tower and by Pont Marie near Notre-Dame Cathedral. (Note that there’s no financial offer, it’s just what you can do with a one-way ticket.)
Metro lines cancelled: 2, 3, 3bis, 5, 6, 7bis, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13
Metro lines running during peak hours: 4, 7, 9 (service between Nation and Mairie de Montreuil only)
Metro lines running normally: 1, 14
RER A*: trains running at half the frequency
RER B*: trains running at one-third the frequency between St Rémy/Robinson et Gare du Nord, trains running at one-fifth the frequency between Gare du Nord and Charles de Gaulle/Mitry airport
RER C*: only between stations Paris-Austerlitz and Brétigny
RER D: cancelled
RER E*: train stations Haussmann Saint Lazare and Magenta will be closed. Departs Gare de l’Est then directly to Bondy. The line in the direction of Tournan will be closed.
The bus: running in a limited capacity
*Operation during peak hours only (6:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. / 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.)