I use a manual wheelchair and I’m planning to visit Paris next year. Can you tell me if the Metro is accessible? I’ve heard that the stations have elevators, but then I’ve also heard some people say that the Metro isn’t wheelchair friendly. What’s the most accessible way for me to get around the city?
Well you are right on both accounts – some of the Metro stations have elevators, and the Metro is not wheelchair-friendly. Currently about 50 stations have elevators, but the real problem with accessibility comes with boarding the trains. Most of the trains have steps up to them, and they are not wheelchair-accessible. Many slow walkers even have problems boarding theses train cars. That said, Metro Line 14 and RER E have level boarding. The rest of the RER trains each have a portable ramp in the first car, which the conductor can deploy when needed.
Approximately 97% of the city buses are lift equipped; although the lifts are not always in working order. Additionally all four of the tramway lines, which skirt the city, are wheelchair-accessible.
Additionally G7 taxi service has over 100 accessible vehicles in their fleet. These adapted taxis feature ramp access, and the fares are the same as those charged by standard taxis. You can order a taxi online at www.g7.fr, or by phone at +33 (0)1 47 39 00 91. It really is the most accessible way to get around Paris.