Dec 15th, 2023, 04:00 PM

The Olympic Transportation Crisis

By Owen Montherd and Justin Kauppi
Image Credit: Constanze Melz
Paris 2024 looks to wreak havoc on the capital’s public transport system

As the 2024 Olympics approach, many Parisians can’t help but imagine the transportation nightmare that will come with it. With a current metro area population of over 13 million, Paris is expected to become inundated with millions more visitors when the Games commence. But, for many living in the city, travelling from one arrondissement to another is already a hassle that is only going to get worse.


Parisians are under no delusion that the Games will bring transport issues and most expect an unprecedented transportation meltdown. Paris’ mayor, Anne Hidalgo, speaking to the Quotidien on TMC TV in November, said, “There will be places where [public] transport will not be ready because there will not be enough trains and not frequently enough.”


Many living in the city who rely on public transportation to get to and from work or school every day anticipate the Summer Games impeding their professional lives. Marc Montherd, a resident of Paris said, “On a personal level I’m worried about moving around in Paris since the metro will be a mess and driving will be pretty much impossible.”


A rare sight; a quiet Metro station. (Image Credit: Fiona Schlumberger)


While moving around in Paris is a big worry for many who live here, another potential problem falls on those commuting in and out of the suburbs. Laney Picon, a student at The American University of Paris, said, "I'm worried about not getting into the city because I live outside [it]. I already had to wait for four trains today because they were too full. I can't imagine what it'll be like during the Olympics."


Unfortunately, for many, public transportation is the only option. When asked what alternatives they had to public transport Marc stated, “The alternative will be walking because driving will be just as difficult as the public transit.” Picon added, “I don’t have another option. It would be a huge problem if I could not use the transit because I would be stranded in Maison Alfort. I would have no option to go into the city.”


Accessibility is already a problem for many using public transport in Paris, a problem that will likely worsen with the arrival of the Olympics next year. (Image Credit: Constanze Melz)


Many companies are allegedly steps to address the problems that transport issues will inflict on employees. When asked if his work would be significantly impacted by public transportation issues, Montherd said, “Possibly, they have been advising companies and employees to take vacation or work remotely, and we might be working more remotely than usual.”


There is not much that can be done to prevent these problems with public transportation. The city of Paris and its inhabitants might be aware of what awaits them, but that does not make the situation any more pleasant.