Transportation in France

drapeau franceIn 1814, the project of constructing seven long railways for the transportation of coal first saw the light of day as the brainchild of Napoleon Bonaparte’s chief mining engineer. Ever since, the French transportation network has been built in a star shape; each of its components has been constructed around the framework of these railways, which all converge in the capital city of Paris. Today, this layout is the underlying cause of numerous socio-spatial inequalities, as certain regions are better served than others. The government is therefore seeking to diminish and eventually eliminate these disparities by investing in new infrastructure.

Statistics:

  • Price per 100 km:

    • Train and bus: approximately 7€

    • Car fuel: 7,1 €  Diesel: 5,2 € Electric: 1,44 €

    • Taxi: prices vary by department, but the average is approximately 200 €

  • Most used means of transportation: the car, slightly exceeding the train since more and more people live in the suburbs and take the train for their work commute (a more eco-friendly and often faster means of transportation).

by Emma P.

In France, transportation is quite cheap: it costs approximately 40€ to travel 100 km by plane, 15€ by train and 3€ by bus. In addition, a litre of gas costs around 3€: therefore, it costs 9€ to travel 100km by car in France. Of course, those prices increase considerably during school holidays, and decrease while students are in school.

Even with the low cost of all means of transportation, the French favor car travel. Despite being cheaper, trains are not very reliable in France, due to railway employees’ numerous year-round strikes. Besides this, though plane travel may be more convenient, queues at the airport are always long, and consequently, passengers often spend more time waiting in line than actually traveling!

One additional reason the French prefer car travel is that France’s highways are among the safest in Europe; there are many speed limits and speed cameras.

 – by Marin E.