News from Paris

March 1, 2002


Two Hours in the Hell of the Twin Towers (3/11)

Duplicitous Ticket Booths at the Eiffel Tower (2/28)

The Slang of the Suburbs (2/25)

"France Is Not Anti-Semitic" (2/24)

What Is Your Favorite Meal? (2/23)

Diana's Fans Are Deprived of Their Flame (2/21)

American Squabbles (2/19)

The Champs-Elysées Are No Longer A Paradise For Cinemas (2/18)

How Do You Celebrate Valentine's Day? (2/14)

"River Metro" Project

The search has begun for ideas to improve transportation in all of Paris and free the capital from cars! The latest project in study is the boat-bus. Since the autumn, the organization CFTC-Paris, sensitive to the problems of transportation in the capital, approached the city hall to incite it to work on this alternative. It's idea is simple.

It consists of putting in place a line of boat-busses that would serve six stations betwee the Val-de-Marne (leaving from Maisons-Alfort/Charenton) and the Hauts-de-Seine (to Issy-les-Moulineaux/Boulogne), passing through the center of Paris. The organization has designated stops where there would be an interconnection between the line of boat-busses and of other modes of transport (train, bus, metro). The river shuttles could leave from Maisons-Alfort (Val-de-Marne), stopping next near the train stations Lyon and Austerlitz (12th-13th district), then a stop at Chatalet, one at the Alma bridge (8th), one more in the proximity of the hospital Georges-Pompidou (15th) and finally, one last station at Issy-Val-de-Seine (Hauts-de-Seine). "The service could be as regular as a metro line, and accessible to bearers of metro passes," insisted Joseph Thouvenel, the president of the CFTC.

"It would not be a type of mass transportation like the metro or train," added Denis Baupin, the assistant mayor in charge of transportation. "This mode of transport would better address a clientele who accords more interest in quality of service than in speed. People who would choose the system for weekend travel or days off, all those who have a little time, etc.," he specified.

Today, the organization can rub its hands: Denis Baupin has assured Joseph Thouvenel of his support. He wishes to establish a pilot committee to reflect on the river metro idea. Clearly, the city is going to work with its partners (Ile-de-France Department of Tranportation, Independent Port of Paris, neighboring communities, regional council, etc) to determine the interest in a boat-bus line. "To put this system in place, we must first respond to some specific questions: who can finance the project? Who will run the line? Where would the stations be implanted? What size should the boats be?" explained Denis Baupin.

In the meantime, the boat-bus rallies in its wake officials from all sides. The CFTC, who has solicited the different committees of the Paris council as well as the elected parliament of the capital, has received the support of eighteen officials, from the left and right, and five officials from the Val-de-Marne and the Hauts-de-Seine. "Henceforth, we are going to make contact with the Ile-de-France Department of Tranportation, the regional prefect, etc," says the CFTC.

Original article by Marie-Anne Gairaud

Translated by David Sadegh