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How to Use Paris Public Transportation - Metro, Bus and RER

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Where to Buy Paris Metro, RER, Bus, and Tramway Tickets?
How to Use Paris Public Transportation - Metro, Bus and RER

Recent renovations have made Paris ticket and information booths "friendlier" looking.

©2007 Courtney Traub. Licensed to About.com

Tickets and passes can be purchased at any metro, RER or tramway station, and when boarding buses. They are also available at Paris Tourist information centers around the city, and can sometimes be found at newsstands or tabacs (tobacco sellers).

Something to keep in mind: when purchasing tickets from an automatic distributor in a Metro or RER station, only debit cards and coins are accepted in some stations-- if you have only bills you may need to purchase tickets from a vendor at the "Vente" (Sales) desk. Similarly, when boarding Paris buses, you'll need exact change. Remember that your metro ticket usually does not allow for transfers to the bus; you'll need to pay for a transfer by asking the bus driver. Tell the driver your destination when you board so he or she can charge the correct fare. If you plan to use the bus frequently, buy a "carnet" (packet) in advance from a metro station.

You should also be aware that at metro stations with booths marked "Information", tickets are sold exclusively via self-service machines; the staff behind the window are there only to answer questions and provide information on schedules, routes, etc. Automated ticket vending machines are slated to completely replace the traditional system within the next few years. A helpful hint: you can change the interface language of the self-service ticket machines to English. This should make it easier to find the ticket/s you need, despite the machines' reputation for being a little less than user-friendly.

Next: What Kind of Ticket Should I Buy?

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