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Paris Trams (2020)

Paris tram line 3

ABOVE: Like many of Europe's newest tramways and LRT lines, Ligne 3 has sections of dedicated right-of-way with grass surrounding the rails. INSET BELOW: A No. 3 tram on a Parisian street.

Trams may be the Paris region's best-kept transportation secret, at least for visitors from abroad.

Paris and its environs now have four modern tram lines--including one in the city itself, the T3 line, which runs along the southern edge of Paris from the Pont du Garigliano (on the Seine in the 15th arrondissement) to the Porte d'Ivry Métro station (at the eastern edge of the 13th, a few blocks from the suburb of Ivry-sur-Seine).

The €310 million tramway opened in December, 2006, bringing streetcars back to Paris for the first time in nearly 70 years.

As a tourist, you probably won't use the trams frequently (if at all), but the T3 line might be useful when you're in the southern part of the city and need to get from east to west or vice versa. And the trams are worth seeing if you're interested in public transit or urban design.

Tram on Paris city streetIn the large photo at the top of the page, you'll witness a distinguishing feature of the T3 line: a right-of-way that looks more like a strip of parkland than a transit route.

The grassy strip with tracks is typical of Europe's newest tramways and LRT (Light Rail Transit) lines, such as those in Bordeaux and Porto, where groundskeepers often work alongside track-maintenance crews in outlying neighborhoods and suburbs.

Riding the trams

Paris trams run from early morning until late evening. During the day, intervals between trams are normally 5 to 7 minutes.

 Buy tickets from automated machines on the platforms, or use any of the RATP tickets and passes that are valid on the Paris Métro and public buses.

Be sure to stamp your ticket in the validating machine when boarding the tram.


Paris Tramway Web links

Paris Tramways Ligne 3

ABOVE: A station on Ligne 3, which runs mostly along the southern edge of the city between Ponte de Boulevard Victor RER station in the 15th arrondissement  and the Porte d'Ivry Métro station in the 13th.

Wikipedia: Tramways in Île-de-France
The online encyclopedia's article is a good introduction to the system for railfans, and you can click on the line descriptions for lists of stations and connections to other Paris transportation services.

YouTube: Paris Tramway
Watch videos of trams in Paris, including an over-the-shoulder view of a motorman at work.

Railfaneurope.net Picture Gallery: Paris Tramways
Click on the subdirectory links for exterior and interior photos with comments.

Top photo copyright © Paris Tourist Office.
Photographer: Marc Bertrand.
Inset photo copyright © Michele Lugaresi.

Related articles:
Paris Transportation Index

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