Daily life

“We are pausing for regulation”: what does that mean?

Why are trains sometimes blocked in tunnels for a few moments? How does RATP manage passenger and traffic flows?

"We are pausing for regulation"

You are riding along in the metro, when suddenly the train comes to a halt, right in the middle of a tunnel. The PA system comes on and the conductor announces: “We are pausing for regulation. We apologise for the inconvenience.” A few seconds later, the metro starts up again. Why did the train stop? What does “regulation” mean?

Regulate means “controlling or maintaining the rate or speed of a machine or process so that it operates properly.” Regulation is thus the process of making something operate regularly, normally.

In transport services, regulation designates all of the measures taken to ensure the proper functioning of a network: to ensure that buses, metros, RERs and trams pass at regular intervals, that the trains run on time, etc.

Through regulation, we organise the movement of vehicles (metros, RERs, buses and trams) and manage all sorts of incidents and hazards that can alter the smooth functioning of transport services, in order to return operations to normal as quickly as possible and with the fewest consequences.

Do not fall behind schedule!

In concrete terms, regulators at the Passenger information and regulation centre (CRIV) are responsible for regulating bus traffic. They maintain radio contact with bus drivers and help them stay on schedule, notably by informing them of construction work, traffic slowdowns, and other incidents along their route.

But there are other employees who are also working daily to ensure the smooth regulation of the network. Regulation assistants, for example, intervene when passengers are getting on and off trains to ensure the timely closing of the doors. When someone tries to board the train when the “doors are closing” warning signal has already sounded, the train is blocked, and this can trigger a chain reaction down the line…

Behind-the-scenes Operating System