Using Pedestrian Access in the Modal Competition Between Public Transport and Cars: the Case of Paris

Using Pedestrian Access in the Modal Competition Between Public Transport and Cars: the Case of Paris


R Golias, City of Paris, FR


Walking is the major mode of transport in Paris. It could be used by increasing the distance from parking to deter from using the car while shortening access to public transport. The implementation is at different stages of progress.


The City of Paris, core of the parisian metropole, is exceptionally dense and has a very good public transport system. As a result, the pedestrian?s modal split is 35% (second behind public transport 40%) for trips concerning Paris and even 55% for trips included in Paris itself. Nethertheless, Paris is victim of traffic congestion, accidents and pollution. The Transport Plan for Paris, currently in progress, stresses walking as the major mode of transport and use it to encourage intermodality with public transport instead of cars.

Walking is the generic mode of transport, for access to public transport or cars. Therefore, it can be used in the will of modal shift from cars to public transport, in a stick and carrot manner. Increasing the distance between the place to park the car and the destination, while making access to public transport stations easier and, if possible, shorter, could help rationalize the use of car. The objective is to stop the car?s reflex due to direct access to cars (in the street in front of the flat or in a car park just under the office or shop). This modal choice is important not only for the main trip, but also for the whole loop of trips of a day. And the use of public transport leads to secondary pedestrian trips.

Those concepts are quite new in Paris. The implementation is at different stages of progress, depending the compatibility with other objectives, the cost, the acceptability by the population or the politicians :
 shortening and making easier access to public transport : enhancing public transport?s coverage, reopening « passages couverts », reducing time on pedestrian crossings (traffic lights? regulation, narrowing the roadway), multiply pedestrian?s priority streets, improving the quality of the itinerary (safety, environment, services ?benches, toilets-, covering/overlay?),
 increasing distance to the place of parking : reduce number of places under new buildings of offices or shops, experimentation of mutualization of parking places in new urban developments, reduce on-street parking, experimentation of relocation of parking for residents in distant public car parks accessible by public transport or foot.

Walking distance to car or public transport is a major tool for the quality of intermodality either walking-public transport or walking?private vehicle. After some years of implementation and studies, we have some evidence that increasing distance for parking deter from using the car. It is possible, but not easy, to use this to help a modal shift to public transport. The city of Paris is in the middle of the process : we experience successes but also difficulties to implement those objectives. Anyway, this approach is useful to raise the awareness of good pedestrian access to public transport.


Association for European Transport