For many living in and around Paris, the new Métro train network can’t come soon enough. In a city renowned for its stunning architecture, iconic monuments, and fancy art galleries, its railway system leaves much to be desired. Thankfully, the morning commute will soon be more pleasant with major improvements to the train network.
According to a report by CNN, the Paris Métro railway system dates back to the early 1900s and struggles to keep up with modern transportation needs. The train network carries more than 4 million passengers every day, pushing the outdated infrastructure to its limits.
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It isn’t only the Métro’s age and lack of upgrades that bother residents, however. It’s also the fact that people living in Paris’ suburbs have a harder time getting around, per CNN.
Currently, the train system consists of 14 lines that branch out from the main station. However, they don’t connect surrounding suburbs with each other, so citizens are forced to travel through the central district to navigate around the city. If you’re in a hurry, it’s not the most convenient option.
Luckily, these travel frustrations should soon go away thanks to the Grand Paris Express, a 120-mile addition to the train network that will include four new lines. Citizens of the City of Light can also look forward to 68 new stations, which will greatly reduce bottlenecks and further encourage public transportation.
“The Grand Paris Express, with its circular lines, encourages movement from suburb to suburb,” Mohamed Mezghani, secretary general of the International Association of Public Transport in Brussels, told CNN.
“People in big cities are realizing that cars are not a solution, congestion keeps worsening and building more roads will only attract more traffic,” Mezghani said. “We need this updated version of public transportation.”
Construction began in 2016, but due to the project’s magnitude, it’s been hit with delays. Current estimates have the extension of line 14 to Orly Airport being completed by the 2024 Olympic Games, while the other lines will gradually be unveiled in late 2025, per CNN.
France’s Transport Ministry projects the train network can accommodate 15% more passengers in time for the Games, a much-needed upgrade with millions of tourists expected. Also, the Grand Paris Express will make it easier for commuters to travel around the city and hopefully reduce car traffic.
“We are on the right track for success,” French transport minister Clément Beaune told CNN. “It will serve as a good example for cities across France.”
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