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Home > The Group > In Ile-de-France > The network > Bus > A developing network

A developing network

The RATP’s 347 bus lines provide exceptional coverage of Paris and its suburbs. On a highly congested urban road network, often disrupted by road works and protests, improving the quality of service on offer is a priority.

Considerable investment is underway to improve the accessibility, comfort and energy efficiency of our bus fleet.

The RATP bus network in Ile de France:

  • 4,490 buses and 12,876 drivers
  • more than 12,500 physical bus stops
  • 347 bus lines, including 31 Noctilien (nightbus) lines
  • nearly 1 billion journeys each year
  • 22 main bus depots and 3 alternate bus depots in Paris and Ile de France
  • more than 200 towns and more than 2,000 stops (RATP and SNCF) served by the Noctilien (nightbus) network
Standard range 3,748
Articulated range 552
Mini-Midi bus range 190

Passenger information: a priority

All vehicles are equipped with an audio announcement system. Onboard information displays are also in the process of being installed on all buses.

Since January 2009, 6,500 real-time passenger information display panels have been installed at 12,000 bus stops (several lines may use the same panels). The panels display the waiting times for the next two buses.

These 12,000 stops are also equipped with QR code technology (Link), which allows this information to be read and decoded by all compatible mobile phones. This means that, no matter where they are, transport users can check the arrival times of the next two buses or trams at a particular stop, helping them plan their journeys better.

A renewed fleet

RATP is exploring alternatives to traditional fuels – hybrid vehicles, biofuels, NGV, LPG – in order to renew its fleet with more fuel-efficient, less polluting vehicles. In 2009, after testing several series-produced models, it put out a call for tenders for the provision of standard and articulated hybrid (electric/diesel) buses.
The modernisation of the fleet will also improve quality of service, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, and accessibility.

RATP rises to the Eco-challenge

RATP is mobilising its teams to improve air quality and save energy. An annual competition called the “Eco-challenge” rewards the bus lines and maintenance centres that achieve the biggest reductions in fuel consumption. The most fuel-efficient driving styles and maintenance procedures, such as flexible driving, gearbox adjustments, particulate filter recycling and air conditioning checks, are optimised to reduce emissions. This competition rewards the teams that make the biggest fuel savings through:

 - The adoption of a “comfortable” driving style, which also helps improve passengers’ travel experience.

 - Attentive maintenance of vehicles, with every opportunity taken to innovate.

Focus on bus drivers

More than 13,000 of the RATP’s 45,000 employees are bus drivers. Their number is increasing due to the transport organising authority’s policy of increasing transport provision.
In both 2008 and 2009, RATP took on 2,000 new drivers, including trainees. All that is needed to apply is a category B driving licence.

Tests and interviews are conducted to test candidates’ ability to drive a bus in all circumstances, their powers of concentration and their capacity to act safely and responsibly. Candidates must also subscribe to the RATP’s values in terms of quality of service and respect for customers.

The 250 training contracts offered to young people aged between 21 and 25 provide an excellent route into the profession. Between 75 and 80% of trainees successfully complete their training and nearly 95% of these join the company as fully-fledged drivers.

The RATP’s 13,000 bus drivers have drawn up a set of guidelines to be followed to ensure good customer relations. These guidelines, specific to their profession and their environment, were developed by working groups comprising staff members and management.
1/ I will be punctual and abide by the rules;
2/ I will abide by the dress code and maintain a smart appearance;
3/ I will use onboard tools appropriately and report any malfunctions;
4/ I will behave in a way that protects the safety of customers and third parties;
5/ I will behave in a way that ensures customers are comfortable;
6/ I will welcome each customer who boards the bus with a look, a gesture or a word;
7/ I will provide information to customers using the appropriate tools, maintaining a polite and welcoming tone at all times;
8/ I will explain the rules for passengers and take care to ensure that they are observed;
9/ I will ask customers who have forgotten to do so to validate their ticket or pass;
10/ I will do all I can to ensure that I am always perceived as being present and available, even outside the bus;
11/ I will anticipate the needs of customers who appear to have special requirements and act appropriately to assist them;
12/ In the event of a disruption in service, however minor, I will inform the customers as soon as possible in order to allow them to plan their journey.

Network safety and availability

In order for a multimodal transport network to operate safely and provide a high quality of service, all equipment must be available at all times, and it must be possible to resolve any technical problems rapidly. This requires irreproachable maintenance and an understanding of the economic stakes involved. With more than 10,000 employees and a yearly budget of over one billion euro, maintenance is one of RATP’s strengths. It is an area in which the company has world-class skills and know-how.
The network has more than 50 local workshops performing constant maintenance on 5,000 metro and RER carriages, more than 5,000 buses and several hundred trams. All of the RATP’s maintenance teams have the same priorities: to ensure the safety, continuity of service and availability of equipment. These commitments require constant maintenance of hundreds of kilometres of metro and RER tracks and thousands of escalators and ticket dispensers.