July 8, 2003

Trottoir Roulant Rapide

Category: Transit , Urban Planning

Paris: Moving walkways are quite helpful devices at airports and train stations, but they don't really move much faster than a slightly brisk walk. The problem is that making them go any faster would require a transition zone between no movement, and super-fast movement.

It seems the French have finally figured out a way to to this. In the Montparnasse Metro station, there is a "Trottoir Roulant Rapide" which starts you out slow, then transitions you to a relatively fast 9kmph. Not exactly running, but a great improvement over a regular walkway.

Unfortunately, new users keep falling over at the transition point. Well, the first escalator probably knocked a few people over too, so hopefully we'll see more of these in the future.

[BBC article][link via Samizdata]

Posted by Nick at July 8, 2003 12:54 PM


the trottoir roulant rapide is a potential killer! I know - i used it on August 5 this year (2003) and ended up being taken to a and e at a french hospital to have two stitches put in the back of my skull. the ambulance men told me they are called to montparnasse metro station atleast once a day to attend an accident at the trr.

Posted by: Anonymous at August 11, 2003 12:35 PM

Every time I get to Paris I give the "TRR" a try. Not only is it useful and innovative, it is *fun* ! :)

It can be a daunting first time experience, and some people will never adapt to it - like a few people hated escalators. But bring your kids there, and treat it like edutainment! They'll be ready for when TRR's will replace slow walkways (HK airport is getting one, for a starter).

Posted by: patrick [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 12, 2004 2:35 AM