Noctilien Night Bus in Paris
Just like other cities around the world, most public transport in Paris stops running during the early hours of the morning, however, rather than having to pay high taxi prices, there is now a solution to this problem with the Noctilien night bus service.
About the Noctilien Night Bus Service in Paris
Due to the growing number of people that have flexible or different working hours and the rise in the amount of people going out for evening entertainment in Paris, there has become an even greater need to have a public transport service for when the Metro and other rail transport is not running.
And this is where the Noctilien Night Bus service steps in, but it does not just cover Paris, as in partnership with RATP and the Transilien SNCF you can now travel safely for a reasonable cost right the way throughout the Ile de France region.
Operating from 12.30am through to 5.30am every night of the year, the Noctilien now includes more than 40 different bus routes and they link some of the main train stations in Paris such as the Gare de Lyon, Gare de l’Est and the Gare Montparnasse.
Also within Paris itself, this bus service provides access from some of the most popular night spots like the famous Avenue des Champs Elysees, the Pigalle area and the Bastille, yet you can also catch one of these buses at the Parc de la Villette, that is home to cultural centres, museums, clubs, and concert venues.
But another good thing about this service, is that you can access numerous different towns and places outside of the city itself such as Saint-Denis, Chateau Vincennes, the Charles de Gaulle airport, Chateau Versailles, and many, many more, which makes this ideal if you are thinking about staying slightly out of Paris, yet still want to see its night life and perhaps go to one of the night clubs in Paris.
When it comes to safety, you will be pleased to know that all the vehicles are equipped with video surveillance systems that are permanently linked to a security centre, which means that the Paris police or other emergency services could be contacted immediately if there was a problem to arise.
In addition to this, an RATP officer is available at each main Paris connecting station to provide passengers with information and help. Plus on the routes operated by the Transilien SNCF you will be welcomed on board by a guide, and they can help you book a taxi etc for your ongoing journey, and they will even wake you up for your stop if you happen to fall asleep!
Now there are actually two routes known as circular routes, one in each direction number N01 and N02 that cover central Paris and cover the major nights spots along with the main train stations and these are also accessible to people with reduced mobility. There are also over 30 outward services from Paris known as the radial routes and these cover the inner and outer suburbs, plus there are an additional 9 routes that run from suburb to suburb that are known as cross routes.
Access to the Noctilien Buses in Paris
The stops for the Noctilien bus are easily recognised on any of the signs by the fact that they are blue in colour, either say Noctilien with a white circle and a red dot around the ‘N’ or just the ‘N’ with its white circle and red dot at a position of north east. However, there is also another sign used , which just shows the bus number with a capital N positioned to the left of the number and higher up.
Now as we mentioned earlier these night buses run from 12.30am through to 5.30am and are anything between every 10 minutes and every 65 minutes depending on the route, and as you would no doubt expect, many are actually a shorter frequency between the buses on a Friday and Saturday night.
You can use the normal travel passes such as the Carte Orange on the Noctilien network, however, for occasional use or a one off if you are on holiday in Paris, then you purchase just the ticket you require, which are based on the t+ ticket price that is €1.50 per ticket as of 2013.
Now talking of tickets, there are actually different zones depending on how far out of Paris and into the Ile de France region that you go and for instance if you wanted to travel from suburb to suburb for example from Versailles to Roissy, then this would be classed as zone 5 and therefore you would need 5 of the t+ tickets, which would equate to €7.50.
However, the radial routes are calculated slightly differently as the first two zones are the standard rat and then if you need to go to zone three etc, then you are charged an addition t+ ticket per zone, but if you need to change buses you would have to purchase another ticket.
You can purchase tickets onboard the Noctilien buses themselves, but t+ tickets or carnets, can only be purchased in books from a ticket office before hand, yet can cost you less in the long run, as even the route we mentioned previously would be under €6 instead of €7.50. Plus the t+ tickets can be utilised in other ways such as on the funicular which goes up the Montmartre hill to the Sacre Coeur Basilica.
If you want to find out when the next RATP bus will stop you can then send a text from your mobile phone with a message such as bus N33 nation and you would text +33 (0) 61064, which is a cost of €0.35 per message not including your own standard cost for a text.
However you can also visit their websites, plus the Transilien SNCF has a Voice server and lost property line by telephoning +33 (0) 890 36 10 10 and the cost of this is €0.15 per minute from a landline, however the call charge will be higher from a mobile or an international phone.