Since the beginning of 2022, some metro lines have had more than 200 days where traffic has been disrupted at least once during the day. This is particularly the case on line 4.
Better not be agoraphobic in the Paris metro these days. Millions of travelers have seen their waiting time at the platform lengthen for several weeks and are forced to transit in ever more crowded trains.
How to explain this situation? According to the RATP, the management is faced with the lack of a hundred drivers, as well as an increase in traffic, yet below pre-Covid levels – “depending on the day we are between 88 and 90% attendance rate compared to 2019 and almost 100% on weekends”, assures the Régie. Added to this is the problem of the obsolescence of certain trains.
At the same time, every day, users suffer the consequences of unexpected events such as the presence of a “suspicious package”, the occurrence of “traveller’s discomfort”, the appearance of an “operating incident”. ..
Many incidents on 4, 12 and 7
What about your subway line? We analyzed the publications of the RATP Twitter accounts, on which all the incidents are relayed. “This information is very precise because each account is kept by people who are closest to the operation of the line”, specifies the Régie. “If there is a problem on a line, the information is relayed.”
We have counted all the days where at least one traffic disruption or interruption is reported. It shows that line 4 has been the most capricious for travelers since the start of 2022: disruptions have been reported for 235 days. Then come line 12 with 224 days and line 7 with 223 days. In other words, on these lines, users suffered disruptions at least 2 days out of 3.
“The more people you have on a line, the more you multiply the chances of disruptions or interruptions”, specifies the RATP. Line 10, which allows you to reach Gare d’Austerlitz from Porte de Saint-Cloud, is thus the least frequented line – with the exception of lines 3bis and 7bis – but also the least disturbed of the entire RATP network, with only 69 days where at least one incident was reported.
Lines 1 and 14 – automatic – also show low levels of disturbance, as shown by our count below, stopped at November 24.
As mentioned above, the RATP is not responsible for all of these disturbances or interruptions, which may be linked to external events such as discomfort or forgotten luggage.
But these incidents occur in a complicated period for the Régie, faced with recruitment problems and an increase in absences among its staff. “To date, less than 100 drivers are missing out of a total workforce of 3,000”, notes the Régie.
“There is a lack of metros that do not run to ensure traffic flow,” said Michel Babut, vice-president of the National Federation of Transport User Associations (FNAUT). “Users therefore have the impression of waiting longer on certain lines.”
“This feeling of irregularity due to the lack of metros comes on top of the bad feeling linked to unforeseen incidents”, indicates Michel Babut, also administrator of the RATP.
Subway shortages at rush hour
Asked about these figures, the RATP defends itself by arguing that there are few networks in the world capable of transporting 5 million passengers per day. “On the metros, overall we are always on levels above 95% punctuality”, retorts the Régie.
However, performance has fallen sharply in recent months, as shown by the evolution of the performance rate of metro lines published by Ile-de-France Mobilités (IdFM), the transport organizing authority in the region. This indicator calculates the share of the actual number of metros in circulation at peak times compared to the service ordered.
The latest data, dated September 2022, shows that the quality of service has deteriorated markedly on some metro lines, as shown in our infographic below.
On some lines, the drop is considerable, with a regularity sometimes lower than 90%. “On the analysis of the causes, the unavailability of staff on lines 3, 6, 8, 11, 12 and 13, is particularly important, which explains these figures” specifies Ile-de-France Mobilités.
Regarding the offer ordered by IdFM, the management says it is “mobilizing to respond to the request of Valérie Pécresse (president of the region, editor’s note) to restore the nominal offer to its pre-Covid level as soon as possible”. Without specifying a deadline, the RATP ensures that “this will be done gradually in the months to come”.