Preparing for Paris 2024: Transport at Large

Less than a year remains on the countdown to the 2024 Summer Olympics. A majority of the events will take place in the host city of Paris, with a few taking place across metropolitan France and one in an overseas territory. With 25 Olympic and 17 Paralympic sites in Paris, journeys made by transportation will be up by 15% across the city in addition to the over 9 million journeys already made every day. Preparations are well underway and there is a strong emphasis on sustainability in the organisers’ plans. One of Paris 2024’s goals are to reduce the carbon emissions of the Olympic games by up to 50%.

The official transport partner for Paris 2024 is Ile-de-France Mobilites (IDFM): the organisation which coordinates the transport companies in Paris. A key objective of IDFM for Paris 2024 is for 100% of spectators to be able to travel by public transport to the games’ venues. With a multi-modal transport system, including the metro, trams, buses and trains, Paris is well equipped to achieve its goal. 

There are a number of proposed schemes to increase the efficiency, accessibility and sustainability of public transport for Paris 2024:

Paris 2024 application

A phone application will be available from Spring 2024 for visitors to devise travel routes specifically to the Olympic and Paralympic sites. The app will direct visitors to less busy routes, rather than the potentially quickest route to facilitate the smooth running of all transport modes and their routes and reduce congestion.

Paris 2024 pass

A dedicated Olympic games travelcard for single or multiple uses will be available and can be purchased through the transport app for quick access.

Completely cyclable games

Paris 2024 is aspiring to hold the first completely cyclable Olympic Games for all the events in Paris by implementing 88 km of new protected routes to total 415 km of cycle lanes for transport across Paris to the game sites.

Wheelchair users transport service

The IDFM are coordinating transport especially for the 4000 wheelchair users expected each day during the Olympics, and the 2500 users during the Paralympics. There will be a service that will transport them from major train stations on the RER E (one of the lines of the regional express network that serves Ile-de-France) directly to the games’ sites in Paris. Visitors will need to purchase a PFR ticket for this service and reserve spaces beforehand.

Metro extensions

In addition to these plans, one of the extensions of the metro (M14) will be ready in time for the games, enabling 1 million journeys on the M14 alone, which includes important links to Paris-Orly airport.

Despite the focus on public transport for visitors attending the games, there will be extra provisions for the 200,000 non-public travellers (athletes, volunteers etc.) commuting to the venues. An expansion of 1000 buses and coaches, the equivalent of the transport Network in Lyon, is planned for the games in addition to public transport

Will this be enough?

Will the IDFM’s plans be sufficient to meet the increased demand from public transport users during the Paris Olympic games? Only time will tell. However, what is clear is that public authorities engaged in the organisation of major sporting and cultural events must take into account the transportation needs of users, visitors, and organisers. That is, whilst also balancing climate policies and prioritising shared, active, and public modes of transportation.