Paris Metro, v. 1.something

You can only fall back on "insert clever caption here" once, alas.

You can only fall back on “insert clever caption here” once, alas.

Oh God, what have I done, I drew a thing.

Stuff I’m happy with:

Loops! Although the big STIF map whose virtues I’m always extolling is on a similar scale, this map serves a slightly different purpose. The STIF map is more for RER/Transilien people, who’re more likely out in the banlieue, this map is more for Metro riders who’re more likely in Paris City, so the Metro is brought forward while the RER is pulled back.

The first one’s the Line 15 loop. On the STIF Grand Paris Express map, it has 16 corners. I brought it down to 10. (It would have been eight, had it not been for the particular and infuriating way it interacts with the RER E around La Defense.) Likewise, if you’re working, like, octolinearly, there’s no reason why your 2/6 loop and T3 partial loop shouldn’t be ocragonal.

Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 1.19.37 PMScreen Shot 2016-01-17 at 1.21.47 PM

Lines 1 is completely straight, and Line 4 is almost completely straight (I refused to bend it around the RER B/D like on the official RATP and STIF maps). Gives at least the northern half of the map some level of order.

Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 1.21.28 PM

I will never understand why so many maps of the Paris Metro insist on giving the northern part of Line 12 between Saint-Lazare and Front Populaire all those ridiculous kinks and jogs when it could be straightened out really easily.

Stuff I’m unhappy with:

Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 1.17.19 PM

This is Line 14. I was able to bring most of the Metro lines down to four or five curves; seven or eight, worst-case. This monstrosity has eleven. If they ever extend Line 10 eastward that one’ll be hosed, too. (Edit: I redrew the top part of this line from Porte de Clichy and Saint-Denis Pleyel. There are still eleven curves, but at least they’re not quite so jarring.)

Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 1.18.16 PM

The southern half of the T8 tram line doesn’t appear to be fully formed yet, considering the STIF plans show multiple vaguely sketched-out alignments, and the French Wikipedia somehow manages to disagree with itself on how many stations there are.

Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 1.19.10 PM

The fare zones. Ye gods. Not without reason did I describe this map as having a serious case of “Zone 2/3 Syndrome.” The STIF map has the fare zones all nice and neat and round, but given the way Line 15 (and the T12, and the T13…) dips and weaves around all the various zones it would have been rather difficult to replicate that effect here, at least right now. This map is for Metro riders in Paris City, so maintaining Ile-de-France’s essential squareness is not quite as important. The periphery is very far away.

I said on Twitter that the big challenge with a Paris Metro map is that the different routes don’t really intersect so much as weave, which means the route we prioritize gets to be all straight while the route that isn’t has to worm its way around it. Hence, how the T3a interacts with Lines 7 and 8 (eight corners, both), and how Line 15 interacts with the T1 (eight corners) and T2 (ten corners).

Also there aren’t any station numbers. I’m still not entirely sure how to incorporate them into a map with this design language without it looking awkward.

I was also too lazy to incorporate connections to TER, Intercites, and non-T Zen bus services. The Montmartre Funicular was also unworthy.


A map of this scale, I think, would be impractical in like fold-out paper form, so I see this as being more useful as something hung up behind glass in a station. I mostly drew it out like this just to see what it would look like (and also because I believe a map of the Paris Metro will, eventually, have to expand out to show the entire Ile-de-France region). A more useful paper map, perhaps for tourists, would just show the area inside the Line 15 loop, with destinations further afield indicated where necessary, and perhaps insets for Orly and CDG Airports if we really want to go wild.

(I chose Line 15 because it’s easy, it’s obvious, and the farthest a tourist will likely go from the center of Paris is either La Defense or the Stade de France. The only big tourist destinations outside the Line 15 loop are Versailles (at the end of an RER C branch) and Disneyland (at the end of an RER A branch). I personally can’t wait until the first phase opens next decade, mostly because the RATP map, which proudly features all of the T6 and squeezes in much of the T8, has no clue where it’s supposed to end.)

I’m still more willing to stand behind the 1956 map, mostly because that one is smaller and denser and the network was much less complicated sixty years ago. Nevertheless, hopefully this’ll be something to build on later.


About theoditsek

I like going places.
This entry was posted in maps, paris, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Paris Metro, v. 1.something

  1. Antione says:

    Just amazing work ! You are in the future

  2. Julian says:

    Great, but Rosa Parks is part of RER E since December 2015 ^^’
    Moreover, the Mantes-la-Jolie -> Poissy -> Paris St Lazare, J Line will be removed by the line E, not coexist. (Mantes -> Conflans > PSL, J line will stay).

    Do you know that STIF have new logos for Metros/RER/Trains/Trams ?
    SNCF and RATP didn’t adopted them for now, but they will be for sure in the next official STIF Map.
    Look : (page 30 of pdf, 28 of doc).

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