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I'm staying in a little town just outside of Paris, and it seems to have plenty of bus service, but the train station is a bit far away AND it seems that you can't transfer from the train to a bus without paying again. So it would be convenient to take the bus for my whole route into Paris.

However, I can't find much information about these bus lines:

enter image description here

The standard bus maps just don't show these D lines and I can't find anywhere that does, nor much information about their routes or schedules, even in French!

Does anyone know what these are called or where they are documented?

  • 1
    Have you tried Google maps? In some places it works very well, in others not much and in some not at all. – Willeke Aug 1 at 16:24
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    D908 is a route Départementale i.e. a B road and not a bus line. So is D6. In general the smaller the number the bigger the road. What bus number is this? – JoErNanO Aug 1 at 17:15
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    This screenshot IS Google maps, and it's very, very helpful. But it's only good if you know where you are and where you want to go. When putting together a route, sometimes I want to study the possible routes, by seeing all of them on the same map at the same time. – Joshua Frank Aug 1 at 17:16
  • @JoErNanO: Ohhhh, that's the road, not the bus! That makes sense, although the labeling is confusing. Looking more closely, it appears to be the 164 bus, which is indeed on the map. Duh. – Joshua Frank Aug 1 at 17:21
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The RATP (the public transit authority in Paris and Île-de-France) has "sector maps" (plans secteur) available on its website. These are PDF maps of the Paris bus and metro systems with roads, as well as different maps throughout the Île-de-France region -- so for example there are separate maps for Marne-la-Vallée, Seine St-Denis Est, Sud de Paris, etc.

In this case, the relevant map is that of Haut de Seine Nord (sector #6). You'll be able to find the aforementioned route 164 bus, as well, as the other buses that go through the Courbevoie area. Here is a screenshot of part of the map matching the Google Maps screenshot above:

Sample of sector map

For individual timetables, you can type in the number of the bus at the Timetables page -- typing and selecting a route will give you two links, one to a PDF of the individual line map and another to a PDF of the hours (which itself also includes the individual line map).

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What you see as bus lines - D6 abd D908 - are in fact routes Départementales i.e. roads that maintained by the Département they are in.

The bus you have highlighted seems to be bus 163 whose schedule can easily be found on Google maps, the RATP app, and even the Moovit app which is more comprehensive and international.

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RATP (the Paris transport authority) publishes bus maps. On their website, select “Maps” then (the non-obvious bit) “Sector maps”. Finding the right sector can be a bit hit-and-miss if you aren't familiar with local geography; you need to know which département you're in. In your case, that's Hauts-de-Seine Nord.

The D+number indications are designations of roads. They are of some use to drivers, but of no use to take public transport. Most bus lines within the Paris city limits have a number in the range 20–99 and most bus lines in the suburbs have a three-digit number (but some local agencies have a different numbering scheme, some including numbers below 100!).

For the most part, buses around Paris are not designed for end-to-end transportation, but to take you to a nearby metro or train station. In the summer months, in the evening and on week-ends, buses are infrequent. During rush hour, buses tend to get stuck in traffic. While you can make a long trip by bus if you want to, and it might be scenic in some places, it's likely to take very long indeed.

An ordinary bus/metro ticket ticket t+ allows you one bus/tram trip anywhere in Paris and the suburbs (excluding some express lines which are more expensive and require you to use multiple tickets). There's a time limit on the ticket, so you can't use a single ticket to cross the whole region: the ticket stops being accepted 90 minutes after you initially stamped it (after that you can stay on the bus that you're already on, but you can't transfer anymore). You can use a ticket of the same type on the metro (and RER within the Paris city limits), but you can't do a combined bus/metro trip with the same ticket (there's a plan to allow that, it was even announced for 2019, but so far the rules haven't changed, and it might end up only be implemented for the new electronic pass and not for paper ticket).

You might prefer to get a day pass for zones 1–3 for 10€ and then you can take all the trains, RER, metros, trams, and other public transport you like within the chosen zones. If you're staying for several days, you can get a weekly pass (Monday to Sunday only, you can't do mid-week to mid-week) for 27.80€ covering the whole region. This includes a one-time 5€ fee to get the pass itself. If you're staying from Friday to Sunday, it's cheaper than 3 day passes, but unfortunately you have to purchase the pass on Thursday at the latest: if you get a weekly pass on Friday, it's for the next week.

  • Navigo Liberté isn't meant for tourists and visitors (that's usually why the RATP doesn't provide info in English), do you know what kind of documentation is required to get it (I assume an IBAN and proof of address might be required as you are charged after the fact)? Tourists can use Navigo Easy instead, gets rid of paper tickets but does not allow a bus-metro connection as far as I know. – Relaxed Aug 2 at 12:57
  • @Relaxed Oh damn you're right, Navigo Liberté has this additional hurdle. I removed it from my answer (it's only realistically useful for tourists from France). – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Aug 2 at 13:08

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