Vogueo water transport system in Paris to launch in 2013
NOT RUNNING AT PRESENT
Even though you have cruises and tourist water buses along the River Seine in Paris like the Bateaux Mouches or the Batobus Water Bus which are privately run enterprises, there has never been a public transport system for the water like there is in many cities in Europe such as London or Venice.
However, this is all going to change with the implementation of a new water transport system in Paris that is going to be called the Vogueo and this will be the first of its kind anywhere in France.
Beginnings of Vogueo water transport system in Paris
This all started as a test using five boats that moved between the Gare d’Austerlitz, the Biblioteque Francois Mitterand and the Veterinary School called Ecole Veterinaire de Maisons-Alfort, and the whole system was designed to act as a public river transport in Paris, targeted towards the people that lived and worked in the city, this trial ran from the June 2008 through to June 2011.
During this test phase the Vogueo system ran from 7am through to 8.30pm on weekdays and from 10am through to 8pm on weekends and National French holidays with a fare costing €3 one way, plus they also conducted surveys from passengers and residents to find out what they thought to the service, the convenience, its efficiency and much more.
But it did not prove to be as beneficial with the amount of passengers as the Ile de France transport authority first envisioned. Yet through many comments and discussions, this was put down to the fact that there were only five stops on the initial Vogueo water bus trials and the area did not cover the centre of Paris, plus it was only a short journey of just over 6km.
The plans and implementation of Vogueo
There will actually be 31 stops in all when the Vogueo Water Transport Service in Paris is officially launched towards the end of 2013 and there will be three different lines for the water buses, which will be available approximately every 20 minutes depending upon the time of year, the day and the tides, although this could be as little as every 15 minutes, yet slightly longer in low season.
Line one of the Vogueo system
This will go between the Ecole Veterinaure de Maison-Alfort to Les Invalides, which is where you can visit different museums like the Musee de l’Armee and the Tomb of Napoleon. On this line there will be stops at the Gare d’Austerlitz and the Gare de Lyon train stations along with one at the Musee d’Orsay.
And there is an additional stop the St-Michel-Notre-dame stop, so that you can visit the Ile de la Cite island and get to see some of the incredible monuments in Paris like the incredible Notre Dame cathedral, the palace turned prison called La Conciergerie and the Sainte Chapelle.
Line two of the Vogueo system
The Line 2 is known as the City Centre Route and will go between the Gare de Lyon train station and the Tour Eiffel-Bir Hakeim dock, which means you will get easy access to the Eiffel Tower, the Musee des Egouts, Cine Aqua and many other tourist attractions in this area of Paris.
However, there will also be additional stops on this line at the Hotel de Ville and the Musee du Louvre, where you can also enjoy the Tuileries Gardens, the Place de la Concorde, other museums like the l’Orangerie and much more.
Line three of the Vogueo system
This line will cover Les Invalides, but travel out to the Western suburbs of Paris that will go past St Cloud and the Bois de Boulogne through to Longchamp, which is where the famous horse racecourse in Paris is located. Yet additional stops will also include the Eiffel Tower and the Issy Val de Seine.
The hours of operation will be from 7am through to 9pm, although it is proposed that the City Centre route of line two will keep operating until 11pm and the journey times are related to the speed of the boats, which are extremely regulated for all boats on the River Seine.
And after many discussions and much deliberation, these routes have been chosen because they will be close to housing, offices, leisure areas, shops and some of the famous landmarks in Paris, yet they are still working on the docks themselves and trying to make as many accessible to the disabled as possible.
However, the River Seine rises and falls quite dramatically at certain times of the year and this is also something that has to be taken into consideration with the Vogueo water shuttle service, and in winter sometimes navigation of the River Seine is limited due to flooding.
Even though during the trials conducted of the Vogueo it was €3 per ticket, this water transport in Paris is now proposing that it will be a cost of €7 per ticket.
But for those living or working in Paris or on holiday in Paris for at least a week or so, are usually recommended to purchase a Navigo transport Card, which can be paid for weekly, monthly or yearly and this will actually provide you with unlimted transport in Paris on the metro, bus or RER within Zones 1 and 2. The Vogueo will also be added to this list for the combined Navigo public transport card.
As with all public transport in Paris, pets except for guide dogs for the blind are not allowed, however, it is proposed that if a small dog can be carried in the persons bag and will not be able to make a mess or interfere with other travellers, then this would probably be allowed.
In addition to this, unlike some means of transport in Paris, you will be able to take you cycle on board the Vogueo.
And as a closing for this information, because the Vogueo is still in the preliminary stages, and although the Vogueo is officially meant to start operating in the latter part of 2013, it may start as a limited service and expand more later, plus not all of the stops nor the size of the boats have yet been defined.
This does mean that the information on the Vogueo water service may change as time goes on, so even when it is fully up and running, it is worth checking on the website for updates.