8 Lessons from the Paris Metro

Transportation planner Dan Malouff shares eight insights into what makes the Paris Metro one of the world's great subways.

May 3, 2016, 5:00 AM PDT

By Philip Rojc @PhilipRojc


Paris Metro Train

Parisian green-striped trains are efficient and attractive. | eska2005 / Shutterstock

Dan Malouff gives us a list of characteristics that make the Paris Metro system efficient, non-frustrating, and even beautiful. American transit planners should certainly take some of these fixes into consideration. They include:

  • Lockable door controls for passengers, reducing entry and exit times (versus requiring conductors to control all door operations)
  • Full-platform seating (why not?)
  • Flip-up seats, adding capacity during rush hours
  • Open gangways allowing movement between cars
  • Elevated tracks that actually look good
  • Sign design that aspires beyond the merely utilitarian
  • Location-specific maps (aiding travelers to stadiums, airports, etc.)
Check out the article for more discussion on each concept. 

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