Commuting in France

Commuting in Europe seems very different than in the US. In Italy driving more than twenty minutes is an excursion and should be considered a day trip. And while commuting in France used to not be done, today, more and more people are traveling longer distances to get to work. But for some reason, it still feels different than it does in the US.

When I tell French people how long it used to take me to get to work, they think it was absurd. Thirty minutes is apparently too much time. But what's funny is that many French people are also making a thirty minute drive to work, some even more. But what I do think that the major difference is that more people are taking public transportation, whether they are making a lot or a little money. Part of it is because public transportation reaches more destinations here in France than does public transportation in the US. Even with all the strikes and delays, people are choosing public transportation.

Another one of my views from my commute
Les Invalides
So what does a commute look like? Well I cannot speak about the driving perspective because that's not something that I regularly experience, but I do know that Sunday nights, with everyone returning back to Paris, is a big stop and go mess! But depending on the time, the metro is like a sardine can. People in business suits stand closely together reading the metro newspaper. Everyone is on the lookout for a seat, and you better be fast to get one. All personal space is violated as the amount of people in a car is most likely over the carrying capacity. In order to be best situated you have to be strategic. But there are key destination for where everyone is going. On RER A, most people get off at La Defense or Reuil-Malmaison. That moment is like when the sun comes out from behind the rainy clouds and the sounds of heaven sing. But between 8am and 10am and 6pm and 8pm, riding the main metro lines is a mess. But I have to say that I'm impressed that so many people take it.

You Might Also Like


Comments? Questions? Advice? Let me know: