GUIDE DE LA DEFENSE

Transportation: a work in Progress

La Défense is the first business district in Europe, and was created from scratch in the 60s…So all transportation systems had to be created to make this corporate dream possible.

In the 70s, public transporation was not in fashion, and everyone was thought to use personal cars in the future, which is why the structure itself of La Défense is made for vehicle, with underground highways and car parks. But History did not exactly move in the direction Experts thought it would go in the 70s, and today 85% of all people coming to La Défense every day do so with public transportation.

The first thing to do was to refresh the existing La Défense train station that had opened back in 1839. Then, the construction of the RER A in 1969 will boost the possibilities of going to la Défense. Suddenly, a metro like system would allow people to go from downtown Paris to la Défense. But that was not enough, and soon the new RER was overflowed by travellers, as being the only large East-West train system in the greater Paris area. The line 1 of the metro had since 1937 an end of the line at Pont de Neuilly, just on the other side of the river from la Défense, and the easiest solution was then to continue the line until the CNIT. The new stations Esplanade de la Défense and Grande Arche opened in 1992, giving some fresh air to the RER users. But that was still not enough, as public transportation trafic was growing. In 1997, some of the tracks of the old railroad were turned into the line 2 of the Ile de France Tramway, giving direct access to La Défense to all the western range of suburbs, from Issy les Moulineaux and Boulogne to Suresnes and Saint-Cloud.

Trafic still goes up, and more projects are being pushed. It has already been decided that the end of the line E of the RER, known as Eole and created in 1999 to ease the East Suburbs circulation, will go from Boulevard Haussman in Paris to la Défense. The Tramway 2 will be built north through the cities of Courbevoie and Colombes to meet with tramway 1, opening a new access to La Défense for people coming from the North-East of Paris (Saint-Denis, la Courneuve, etc.). A new TGV -bullet train- train station will be built, giving la Défense direct and fast access to the rest of the country, Brussels, Amsterdam or London. Hundreds of millions of euro are currently being shipped in in order to better and to enhance Public Transportation towards and out of la Défense…

The next big step will be the development of airport access thanks to the Grand Paris Express, an automated metro that will go around the city, joining all its airports and la Défense. So the incredible development of la Défense is an ongoing work in progress!

Furnished apartment of Home in La Défense are very easy to reach by RER from Airports and from there, you can get to Paris with the Metro which is at 10 minutes walk.