Paris Buses are literally everywhere. Within the city are over 4,000 buses, servicing 266 lines with a total of 5,046 stops. This system allows you to get just about anywhere and, in many cases, closer to your destination than the Metro, or the RER would get you.
Paris buses are clean, comfortable, heated in winter and can be air conditioned during the summer months.
The Official Paris Transportation Website has an interactive map of Metro, RER and bus lines.
The ticket windows in the Metro stations offer a selection of maps. Ask for "Plan #2". It is has the best map for the Paris buses.
Regular service of Paris buses begins at 7 a.m. and runs until 8:30 p.m. Bus service is reduced on Sunday, holidays and after 8:30 p.m. On Sunday and holidays certain lines do not run.
From 12:30 a.m. until 5:30 a.m there is bus service available. Called Noctilien, the buses of these 42 lines have the name Noctilien written on them as well as the letter "N" in front of the route number.
Bus stops that serve Noctilien buses are indicated by signs at that stop. These bus stops are found in the busier night areas.
Most Paris Bus stops are glass-walled on three sides and have bus-line maps and schedule information. They also have multi-language instructions on how to use the buses.
On top of these structures will be signs indicating the name of that stop, the numbered bus routes that stop there and the direction-name which is the name of the last bus stop on that route.
Other bus stops are indicated simply by a pole with signs indicating the name of the stop, the bus line mnumbers that serve that stop and the name of the direction, the terminal point of that route. This signpost may have a route map for that bus line attached to it.
A very helpful recent addition to many bus stops are digital signs indicating the time until the next bus arrives.
Sometimes, not all buses that pass a certain bus stop will stop there, so be sure to check the route number signs at that particular bus stop.
As the bus approaches, hail the bus by putting out your hand. Since some bus stops are serviced by more than one line, if you do not signal, the driver may assume that you are waiting for a different bus.
When the bus does stop, enter by the front door. Your single-use ticket must be validate it by inserting it in the small machine to the left of the driver.
The bus driver will sell individual tickets at 1.50 euro each. Indivdual tickets are valid for one bus ride only. There are no transfers on the buses.
Inside the bus, above the windows, are route maps for that bus. Most buses also have electronic signs above the center aisle which digitally read the name of the stop, the stop approaching and the approximate arrival times of upcoming stops.
Before the bus reaches your stop, look for the red buttons located on the vertical hand rails. Press this button and it will light a sign near the driver indicating that a stop has been requested.
Exit from the middle or rear doors. On most buses, the driver opens the doors electronically. However, on the double-car buses there is a button near the exit doors that you need to push to open the doors.
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