I have been around visiting cities and they all have something pretty and ugly about them. Paris is known to be one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. The construction is just too beautiful. France architectural vision is just wonderful. I am not going to comment about the suburbs but let’s say overall its eyes catching. But what is more intriguing is the way the metro is run.
The Metro is one of the most used transports in big cities and the French metro reputed to be the best in the world in term of efficiency and design is for me the most disgusting underground tube I have ever used. It looks as if as soon as it’s underground, the government do not care about it or let’s the “RATP”. The RATP is a public institution associated with an industrial and commercial character. Since 2000, RATP is growing internationally on the market for network operation, transportation engineering and is right now the sixth player in the global market of mass transit.
They are definitely making money but why is the Parisian metro so dirty? What are the agents doing in those offices, staring at foreigners? Spending hours on the phone talking to who knows while serving the customers. People that can’t afford the metro still find themselves in it. How is that possible?
Parisian metro is invaded of Tramp, Bag-man, Beggars, Vagabond, etc which put you at risk of being robbed. Every Beggars has his own line, telling a story about how life got hold of them negatively and that they only wish to have 1€ or 2€, a restaurant voucher or a cigarette. Many stations especially in Paris smell like urine (Metro St Lazare for example). Sometimes the smell is so heavy that you’re start having a headache and seeing double. I once asked myself if the Parisian metro accepted some Toxic Waste in exchange for some money, just to show you how bad it is.
Metro place d’italie, I call the General Quarter of the Tramps, and they are all heavily under the influence of alcohol. What I don’t understand is why we don’t see them late at night, like if they regain their houses and during the day they all reappeared. How can Beggars be allowed to pass the Metro bars without a ticket and infest people lives? They are allowed to share the same metro with us, sitting on the seats with their clothes they have been wearing for months, with their hair that hasn’t received a shampoo for the past decade. As soon as you hit home, you have one thing in mind, going to the shower.
I think the RATP and the Government should take action, whoever takes the decision, should copy the London Underground Security System and help those who paid for their ticket enjoy their journey (this agent on the left will never let you take the train if you don’t have a ticket). This is achievable by training those lazy RATP agents to do their real jobs and not sitting in their offices gossiping on the phone and complaining over being badly paid. If RATP is not making the money they expect, it’s because the no one cares about checking if you’re entitled to have access to the metro or not. Maybe this way, the RATP will have more money coming in to give you a better salary.
Progress is only achievable when everyone work together. So please RATP, next time, employ some smart people who want the company to go further, and cares about the Country image because it’s disgusting.
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