How about a bus in Paris…

So let me tackle another mode of public transport that me think is not use enough by visitors. Many think , that I only drive a car here in my belle France, but if you know Europe and France you know that would be too one sided. I do take all forms of public transport over the years. I do prefer to go into the city by car but once inside prefer, the …….bus! Oh yeah some think the metro is a tourist attraction but why come to see the most beautiful city in the world underground!!! Above ground is much better, believe me!

Therefore , let me tell you a bit more on the public transport preferred by me, the bus of Paris.  Managed by RATP, ( Régie Autonome des Transport Parisiens)  bus in Paris within the city corresponds to lines 20 to 99 as well as a few other special lines. Some of these lines even cross the limits of Paris, to reach a nearby suburb. Almost all of these lines run on Sundays and Holidays (with slightly reduced schedules).

A bit of history I like

The first network appeared in 1662 with the five-floor coaches lines tested by Blaise Pascal. He in fact obtained from King Louis XIV the privilege of founding a company of public coaches which operated five routes, the “five-floor coaches“. A first line was opened on March 18 1662!   between Luxembourg and Porte Saint-Antoine with seven vehicles.  But it was not until 1828 that regular bus lines resurfaced and met with great success. The first omnibuses appeared in 1828 ,. From 1830, ten companies operated around a hundred cars on around forty lines with very imaginative names: Omnibus, Dames United, Favorites, Béarnaises, Citadines, Gazelles, Excellentes, Hirondelles Parisiennes, Tricycles, Constantines and Batignollaises.

In 1902, Paris had an emerging metropolitan network, and on the surface, 42 horse-drawn omnibus lines, forming a network of 280 km. The Paris Motor Show in 1905 presented the public with a new vehicle: the bus! The first buses were put into service in 1906 and quickly replaced the horse-drawn omnibuses, which disappeared in 1913. The first complete Parisian bus line was inaugurated on June 11, 1906 and linked Montmartre to Saint-Germain-des-Prés (AM line), on a course of 5.8 km. As of August 1, 1914, the military authority requisitioned all of the buses, 120 of which were immediately dispatched to the Great War front (WWI). Some took part alongside taxis in the Battle of the Marne, then in the Battle of the Somme and in the Verdun offensive. In 1918, only a fleet of one hundred buses remained. In 1919, of the 43 pre-war lines, 25 were still in operation.

On August 23, 1939, (WWII) the STCRP (Société des transports en commun de la région parisienne) received an order to requisition a large part of its fleet of buses to transport troops, which seriously disrupted the operation of the network.   After the WWII, the work is titanic, the network is indeed completely disorganized by five years of war, most of the equipment has disappeared or is out of service, the workshops are partially destroyed, and the difficulties in supplying fuel and tires are considerable. In early 1946, a fleet of 1,000 buses was available to operate 11 lines in Paris and 55 in the suburbs. From 1950 to 1962, the all-new RATP brought 1,700 new vehicles into service despite the difficult post-war economic context.

The first bus corridors (bus lanes) were fitted out on January 15, 1964, the first, 1,000 meters long, appeared on the quays of the Louvre and the Mégisserie. At the end of the 1980s, to cope with the complexity of the lines resulting from several decades of extensions, the RATP decided to put an end to the numbering of the lines which called for a combination of numbers and letters (example: 113A, 113B, 113C, etc.) and which did not facilitate the use of the network, and to modify certain lines in order to better respond to traffic: some see their route modified, shortened or extended, others are created while some are deleted. And the numbered lines were born.

Some guidance on follow up the bus lines in Paris and suburbs are:

The lines beginning with a number 2 are the bus lines having as terminus the sector of Gare Saint-Lazare / Opéra. These are
Bus 20: Gare Saint-Lazare <=> Gare de Lyon
Bus 21: Gare Saint-Lazare <=> Stade Charléty – Porte de Gentilly
Bus 22: Opera <=> Porte de Saint-Cloud
Bus 24: Gare Saint-Lazare <=> Maison-Alfort Veterinary School
Bus 26: Gare Saint-Lazare <=> Nation – Place des Antilles
Bus 27: Gare Saint-Lazare <=> Porte d’Ivry – Claude Regaud
Bus 28: Gare Saint-Lazare <=> Porte d’Orléans
Bus 29: Gare Saint-Lazare <=> Porte de Montempoivre.

The lines beginning with the number 3 are the bus lines having as terminus the sector of Gare de l’Est. These are
Bus 30: Trocadéro <=> Gare de l’Est
Bus 31: Charles de Gaulle – Étoile <=> Gare de l’Est
Bus 32: Porte d’Auteuil <=> Gare de l’Est
Bus 35: Paris Est Station <=> Aubervilliers City/Town Hall
Bus 38: Porte d’Orléans <=> Gare du Nord
Bus 39: Issy – Frères Voisin <=> Gare du Nord.

The lines beginning with the number 4 are the bus lines having as terminus the sector of Gare du Nord. These are
Bus 42: Georges Pompidou Hospital <=> Gare du Nord
Bus 43: Neuilly – Bagatelle <=> Gare du Nord
Bus 46: Gare du Nord <=> Château de Vincennes
Bus 47: Paris Est Station <=> Fort le Kremlin Bicêtre
Bus 48: Royal Palace, Louvre <=> Porte des Lilas.

The lines beginning with the number 5 are the bus lines having as terminus the sector of République / Paris Rive Droite. These are
Bus 52: Parc de Saint-Cloud <=> Opera
Bus 53: Levallois Bridge <=> Opera
Bus 54: Asnières – Gennevilliers – Gabriel Péri <=> Porte d’Aubervilliers
Bus 56: Porte de Clignancourt <=> Château de Vincennes
Bus 57: RER Arcueil-Laplace <=> Porte de Bagnolet-Louis Ganne
Bus 58: Vanves – Lycée Michelet <=> Châtelet.

The lines beginning with the number 6 are the bus lines having as terminus the sector of Gare de Lyon / Gare d’Austerlitz. These are
Bus 60: Porte de Montmartre <=> Gambetta
Bus 61: Austerlitz station <=> Church of Pantin
Bus 62: Porte de Saint-Cloud <=> Porte de France
Bus 63: Porte de la Muette <=> Gare de Lyon
Bus 64: Gambetta <=> Place d’Italie
Bus 65: Gare de Lyon <=> Porte de la Chapelle
Bus 66: Clichy – Victor Hugo <=> Opera
Bus 67: Pigalle <=> Stade Charléty – Porte de Gentilly
Bus 68: Place de Clichy <=> Châtillon Montrouge
Bus 69: Champs de Mars <=> Gambetta.

The lines beginning with the number 7 are the bus lines having as terminus the sector of Hôtel de Ville / Châtelet. These are
Bus 70: Radio France <=> City Hall
Bus 72: Parc de Saint-Cloud <=> City Hall
Bus 73: Garenne-Colombes <=> Orsay Museum
Bus 74: Clichy – Berges de Seine <=> City Hall
Bus 75: Pont Neuf <=> Porte de Pantin
Bus 76: Louvre – Rivoli <=> Bagnolet

The lines beginning with the number 8 are the bus lines having as terminus the sector of Paris Rive Gauche / Luxembourg. These are
Bus 80: Porte de Versailles <=> Mairie 18éme – Jules Joffrin
Bus 81: Porte de Saint-Ouen <=> Châtelet
Bus 82: Luxembourg <=> Neuilly
Bus 83: Friedland <=> Porte d’Ivry
Bus 84: Porte de Champerret <=> Pantheon
Bus 85: Mairie Saint-Ouen <=> Luxembourg
Bus 86: Saint-Germain-des-Prés <=> Saint-Mandé
Bus 87: Porte de Reuilly <=> Bastille / Champ de Mars
Bus 88: Georges Pompidou Hospital <=> Montsouris
Bus 89: Vanves – Malakoff <=> François Mitterrand Library.


The lines beginning with the number 9 are the bus lines having as terminus the sector of Gare Montparnasse. These are
Bus 91: Montparnasse 2 – TGV station <=> Bastille
Bus 92: Porte de Champerret <=> Gare Montparnasse
Bus 93: Suresnes <=> Invalides
Bus 94: Levallois – Louison Bobet <=> Gare Montparnasse
Bus 95: Porte de Vanves <=> Porte de Montmartre
Bus 96: Gare Montparnasse <=> Porte des Lilas
Bus 97 PC1: Porte de Champerret <=> Garigliano Bridge
Bus 99 PC3: Porte Maillot – Pershing <=> Porte de La Chapelle


In addition to these bus lines there are other specific ones that ride in Paris. These are
The bus lines PC (PC1 – Porte de Champerret <=> Pont du Garigliano and PC3 – Porte Maillot – Pershing <=> Porte de La Chapelle) which operate a peripheral route by traveling on the marshes to serve the various gates of Paris. The Noctilien night bus lines, from N01 to N154. These lines are operated overnight in Paris (generally between 0: 30h and 5h30), in the petite Couronne or inner ring and some of them in the Grande Couronne or outside ring. The so-called “tourist” lines such as the Montmartrobus line (Pigalle <=> Mairie du 18eme – Jules Joffrin) which serves the Butte Montmartre. The Airport lines with the Orlybus (Denfert-Rochereau <=> Orly Sud) which serves Orly Airport and the Roissybus (Paris – Opera <=> Charles de Gaulle Airport Terminal 3 – Roissypole) which serves the airport of Roissy Charles-de-Gaulle. The CASTOR line (Invalides Metro RER <=> Gare d’Austerlitz Metro RER) which operates during the summer to replace the RER C between Invalides and Austerlitz.


Local lines, using smaller buses, operating circular routes in certain Parisian districts such as the Traverse Ney Flandre (Rosa Parks via La Chapelle), the Traverse Bièvre Montsouris (Montsouris – Tombe Issoire via Maison Blanche), the Traverse de Charonne (Gambetta via Pyrénées), or the Traverse Batignolles-Bichat (Bichat Hospital via Tocqueville). The Bus 528, a small line of 6 stops put into service as part of the Grand Paris des Bus, connecting Saint-Lazare train station to Porte de Clichy. The lines from 100 to 599 are mainly located in the Paris suburbs, with some of them having a few stops in intramural Paris (generally on the outskirts).


For my record I like to note the bus lines that I have used the most over the years , these been the lines 20, 22, 27, 30, 43, 52, 53, 61, 63, 76, 82, 84, 87, 91, 92, 93, 95 , Montmartrobus, and Roissybus. Quite a few really, I am fine lol! All nice rides, lately I have done several on the bus line 82.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip to Paris or rather in Paris and the bus is nice are

The Paris bus lines with street views from RATPRATP bus network of Paris on sector buses and street views

The Transilien region of ïle de France including Paris transport site: Transilien Paris region transports 

The Île de France region mobilité on buses and al. :

And the tourist office of Paris on getting around in the city in English here: Tourist office of Paris on getting around the city

And there you go hope it helps you get around by bus in my eternal Paris. Do not hesitate to ask me if have a question. Enjoy Paris above ground!

And remember, happy travels, good health,and many cheers to all !!!

7 Comments to “How about a bus in Paris…”

  1. I get so confused on a Paris bus. I do agree it’s much nicer than the metro but not usually as timely. Great history lesson!

    Liked by 1 person

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