Accessibility of the bus network
Paris’s 60 bus lines have all been accessible to wheelchair users since the end of 2009, thanks to the proactive policies pursued by the Ile-de-France Region, Paris City Council, STIF and RATP.
The next aim for STIF and RATP is to make the whole of the RATP’s network in the Ile-de-France region accessible by 2015.
A major challenge: accessibility for all
In order to make Paris’s 60 lines accessible, the
buses and bus stops had to be adapted. A bus line is considered to be
accessible when at least 70% of its stops are accessible. This project required
an investment of €12 million from the Ile-de-France Region and STIF between
1999 and 2008.
It succeeded due to a fruitful collaboration between the joint project owners, RATP and Paris City Council. Paris City Council took responsibility for the accommodation works: raising pavements, moving street furniture or stops, road markings, etc. RATP made the necessary investments and undertook the related work: buses equipped with ramps for wheelchairs, signage, passenger information at stops, driver training. RATP has therefore purchased 1,415 buses fitted with ramps for wheelchair users.
Outside Paris, 44 suburban lines were accessible by January 2010. Making the entire Ile-de-France network accessible means sustaining a high rate of work, the aim being to upgrade 40 to 50 lines each year. This work presents a new organisational challenge, given the coordination required with the many different municipalities served by the lines.
Buses and cyclists: sharing the road
The travelling exhibition “Bus et Vélo : bien rouler ensemble” [Buses and bikes: getting along together], launched by RATP in May 2009 to promote mutual understanding between cyclists and bus drivers, received the 2009 “Trophée du vélo” award for “making cyclists’ everyday life safer and easier”.
The exhibition, designed to promote intelligent and safe interaction
between buses and cyclists, has been a great success and was extended until
April 2010. Run by RATP’s staff, the exhibition intends to foster an
understanding of the constraints affecting cyclists and bus drivers
The success of the Vélib’ public bicycle rental programme, together with the gradual opening of additional cycle lanes (with 160 km of bus lanes accessible to cyclists, out of a total of 190 km), have made the way in which buses and cyclists share the road an important issue.