Month: September 2018

How QGenda helps reduce physician burnout

Just a few weeks ago, we shared an article from the August 2018 edition of the MGMA Connection, “Keys to reducing and eliminating physician burnout.” This article is certainly not the first, nor will it be the last discussing the serious detrimental effects of burnout on medical professionals, their organizations, and most importantly – their patients. It’s past time to start working towards solutions.
As Jami M. Clark, MHA, FACMPE notes in the article, lack of autonomy and control often contribute to physician burnout, so finding opportunities for balance and joint decision-making between physicians and practice managers can drastically improve morale and subsequent patient care.
“Giving providers the ability to balance their workload is another way to reduce burnout… Allowing physicians to design their schedule can help to reduce chaos, improve work-life balance, and give providers an opportunity to design patient schedules outside the normal 9-to-5 model.”
Here at QGenda, we aim to increase transparency, flexibility, and fairness across your provider scheduling, ultimately improving work-life balance, optimizing your workforce, and helping your team provide the best possible patient care. Here are a few ways our QGenda scheduling platform can help your group reduce burnout:

Automation that accounts for physician preferences
Not only does QGenda’s intelligent, rules-based algorithm include providers’ skill sets, it also accounts for assignment preferences when generating the schedule. For example, if one provider prefers to be scheduled for early morning shifts in order to pick her kids up from school, another provider prefers to work clinic on a specific day, and still another prefers no back-to-back call, those preferences will be considered whenever possible, giving providers more control over shifts worked.

Reduction of time spent on administrative tasks
Administrative duties often either take away face-to-face time with patients or require daunting amounts of time outside of scheduled work hours to complete. Excessive administrative tasks create unnecessary stress and fatigue and reduce the feeling of purpose and connection to work that comes from caring for patients. Automating the provider scheduling process with QGenda significantly reduces administrative time spent creating, managing, and viewing the schedule, meaning more time to spend with patients and more time for providers outside of work.

Autonomous swapping and requesting via mobile device
With the QGenda mobile app, providers can submit shift swaps and vacation requests with the push of a button. Giving providers control over their schedule presents them with a sense of autonomy necessary for maintaining provider satisfaction. Changes to the schedule are reflected in real-time, so there is never time wasted or frustration over searching for the most up-to-date version.

Flexibility of Assignments
QGenda’s software enables an increased level of complexity of shift and task types, allowing for more flexibility of assignments. For example, instead of 24-hour call shifts, QGenda can easily accommodate two separate 12-hour call shifts, giving providers the option to more optimally break up workflow.

Transparency and Equality
Each shift and task in QGenda can be assigned a specific credit value, depending on how desirable or essential it is. Providers can then choose which shifts they prefer to work in order to reach a certain credit value total. For example, picking up an extra holiday shift could be worth more than picking up an extra weekday shift. QGenda keeps reliable statistics of all providers’ totals in order to ensure equality between providers, enhancing transparency and fairness and leading to more satisfied providers.

Our goal is to enable providers and practice managers to work together in finding optimal solutions for reducing burnout in their groups. By automating the scheduling process, increasing transparency and flexibility, and providing more autonomy and control over individual schedules, QGenda reduces stress, gives valuable time back to patient care, and makes lives easier, all contributing to improved work-life balance.
The post How QGenda helps reduce physician burnout appeared first on QGenda.

CDG Airport Terminal 2 to Paris

Arrival at CDG T2
Get to Train Station
Station Photos
Money, Left Luggage

Train Tickets
RER B Trains
TGV Trains
Schedules & Virtual Tour

CDG Airport Terminal 2 Train Station Atrium
This is a step-by-step photo guide of taking RER B Paris city trains from CDG Airport Terminal 2 to Paris city centre. From the CDG arrivals lounge to central Paris, I’ll guide you step-by-step on how to make this transfer. If you’re arriving at Terminal 1, see the CDG Terminal 1 to Paris photo guide.
For train times, train ticket prices, maps and other details see the Overview CDG to Paris by Train article.

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<!–* Alert! Construction works will affect the RER B in 2015.There are no current construction alerts affecting RER B train service –>
Safety/Security: Thieves work on this train!

Arrival at CDG
Upon arrival at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle Airport Terminal 2 the first thing that will happen after exiting the plane is immigration/passport control, which can be very quick depending on where you are sitting on the plane.  If you’re seated near the front of the plane and are the first to exit, you’ll be the first to go through immigration screening by French national police.  You could be past immigration within 5 minutes (or 40 if you’re the last to exit a large plane).
Next you’ll collect your baggage at the carousels.  Estimate a good 30 minutes for this.  Nothing out of the ordinary in terms of expediency, perhaps even a little slow.
Customs control for baggage is next, which is separate from passport control and handled by customs officers near the exit of the baggage collection area.  In general the customs officers spot check passengers and only stop those who (rarely) rouse their curiosity.  After this you’ll exit into an unsecured area of Charles de Gaulle Airport free to make your way to Paris or other cities via train.
If you happen to be arriving via Terminal 2G, the new Schengen (Euro Borderless Zone) terminal, you’ll need to take a shuttle bus to Terminal 2E/F in order to catch the RER train.  The shuttle buses, circulating every 4-5 minutes, can be found just outside the arrivals area of 2G.  [Thanks to Lynne P. for this updated information].
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How to Get to the Train Station at CDG Terminal 2
Immediately upon exiting the baggage collection area doors of any CDG Terminal 2 sub-terminal (T2A through T2G), you’ll see the sign below providing directions to CDG Ground Transportation options.
I’ve circled in red on the right side Gare SNCF / Railway Station and also Paris par Train / Paris by Train.  Follow these two signs to get to the trains from CDG Airport Terminal 2 to Paris.
CDG Airport Terminal 2 Arrivals Area Sign
The CDG Terminal 2 arrivals area hall will look like this:

Notice the blue overhead signs? Those will point to Gare SNCF / Railway Station, Paris par Train / Paris by Train. Follow these signs to make your way to the train station located right within Terminal 2.
Here are some close-up photos of signs pointing to the CDG Terminal 2 train station:

At the end of each of the terminal buildings (there are seven sub-terminals at Terminal 2: terminals 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G) will be a large sign noting how long it will take to reach other terminals and the train station. In this photo, we see that the train station at Terminal 2 is 3 to 5 minutes walk from Terminal 2F.

Here is a map of Charles de Gaulle Airport showing the layout of CDG Terminal 2. Also visible are Terminal 3, Terminal 1 (which has its own train station) and CDGVAL shuttle train between CDG’s 3 terminals and parking structures.

(Courtesy of ADP)
The moving sidewalks between Terminal 2’s sub-terminals definitely speed up walking times:
CDG Moving Sidewalks
Closer to the train station area you’ll find more signs directing you down to the station.

 
CDG T2 Paris RER Trains & Grandes Lignes Sign
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Train Station Photos
When you’ve arrived at CDG Terminal 2 train station, you’ll be on Level 4 of an atrium.  In the photo below you can see:

Departures information board in the center with vertical curving display
CDG information booth the far end, mostly obscured behind the arrivals/departures display board
CDG Airport Baggage Storage services (orange color, run by Baggages du Monde) on the left of information booth
Escalators down to Paris city trains (RER B) and Grandes Lignes trains (TGV intercity trains)

CDG Airport Terminal 2 Train Station Atrium

The photo below of CDG Terminal 2 train station was taken one level down from the above photo and shows (from left to right):

TGV / Intercity train ticket office (barely visible, just beyond the seating area on left)
seating / waiting area for Grandes Lignes / TGV trains departing CDG Airport train station
Departures information board (top, center/left)
Escalators down to CDG Train ticket offices level
Train ticket vending machines, green, yellow and blue.

Green train ticket machines: Paris and suburbs city trains (tickets for Paris RER, Paris Metro, Transilien)
Yellow train ticket machines: TGV / SNCF and other highspeed/normal speed intercity trains (Thalys, Lyria, Eurostar, ICE, Intercities, Corail, etc.)
Blue train ticket machines: same as green machines – RER B tickets, Paris Metro, Versailles, Disneyland, etc.
Red machines are food vending machines for snacks and hot & cold drinks

Overhead departures video screen showing next RER B trains departing to Paris
Paris RER train ticket office at extreme right. Also sells Paris Metro tickets, day tickets, Pass Navigo, Paris Visite

CDG Terminal 2 Train Station Ticket Offices Atrium
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Money, Information, Left Luggage – at CDG Terminal 2
A full service HSBC bank is available at CDG T2 train station (barely visible on right side of below photo).  You may wish to withdraw some Euro cash notes from the HSBC bank machine or exchange money from the clerk.  If you have non-smart-chip/PIN-protected credit cards, they generally won’t work with the automated ticket machines.  Thus you’ll need Euro cash to buy your tickets from the ticket office.  The automated train ticket vending machines don’t take Euro cash notes, only coins. There is now a change machine in the CDG Airport train station, accepting 10 & 20 euro notes and producing one/two euro coins. The bill change machine is in the middle of the train ticket machines.
CDG T2 – baggage storage, info booth, bank
Closer photo of HSBC bank at CDG Terminal 2 train station.
CDG T2 Train Station Bank
CDG Airport left luggage / bag storage services handled by Baggages du Monde.  On level 4 (same level at which you walked here to arrive). Contrary to what some information people are finding on other websites, left luggage services at CDG are open/running/in operation.  They are not closed due to security threats.
CDG T2 Bag Storage
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Paris Metro/RER Train Tickets CDG Airport Terminal 2
CDG airport train ticket office in Terminal 2 is split into two separate offices on opposite sides of the atrium. Paris Metro / RER tickets and passes for traveling within Paris and the Ile-de-France area (Disneyland Paris, Versailles, etc.) has a sign outside reading Billets Paris et Ile-de-France visible in the photo below.
CDG Airport Train Ticket Office Terminal 2

To buy TGV Train tickets at CDG Airport visit the Grandes Lignes train ticket office on the opposite side of the atrium, across from the Paris et Ile-de-France ticket office. The Grandes Lignes ticket office deals exclusively with TGV train tickets and also other brands of intercity trains (Thalys, Eurostar, ICE, etc.). This includes sale, collection, refunds and changes of train tickets going between cities in France and to other European countries. Trains traveling to other cities within France (or other countries such as Belgium, Germany, England), are known as the Grandes Lignes trains. Popular France destinations include trains to Lyon, Avignon, Marseille, Nice, etc.

To buy single train tickets to Paris you may use a smart chip credit card or Euro coins (not cash notes) with the white colored Tickets et Navigo vending machines to purchase such tickets.  A change machine accepting 10€ and 20€ notes is available on-site to produce 1 and 2 euro coins. Note that you cannot buy the Pass Navigo from these automatic train ticket machines.  You must visit the Paris Ile-de-France ticket office to purchase the Navigo Pass due to the plastic physical card.  (This ticket office is visible two photos above under banner “Billets Paris et Ile-de-France”.)  The Paris Visite multi-day train ticket, you can buy from these ticket machines.
CDG Train Ticket Machine – white
Bear in mind that these machines will not work with credit cards without chip+PIN, still somewhat common in United States circa 2014/2015. Also, do not use the yellow ticket machines for Paris train tickets. The yellow machines are for TGV, Eurostar, Thalys and other intercity trains.
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Paris Train (RER B) Platforms
After buying your train tickets or passes it’s time to turn towards the train platforms which will require descending another set of escalators or stairs onto Level 1. The Paris Train platforms are marked as “Voie” (“platform or lane”) 11 and 12 and also show “RER B Paris par Train“, the Regional Express Network trains that operate between Roissy-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) and Paris city centre.
CDG T2 RER B Paris Train Entrance Area
 
CDG T2 RER B Paris Train Entrance Doors
This is a photo overlooking Paris bound train platforms 11 and 12 at CDG Terminal 2 Station.

On the platform itself you’ll see signs noting that all trains are going to Paris, since Aeroport Charles de Gaulle is the terminus or end-of-line station for the RER B train line.

Note that although the platform sign reads Aeroport Charles de Gaulle 2 TGV, this platform shown is not the TGV train platform, it’s simply the name of this station as a whole.

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Intercity (TGV) Train Platform
The CDG Airport TGV train platform entrance is located immediately left of the Paris Train platforms through a door marked “Porte S” leading to voie (lanes) 3 to 6.  The video screen overhead shows destinations of TGV Trains leaving CDG, train departure time and from which lane (voie).
CDG T2 TGV Train Platform Entrance
If you’re taking a TGV train to another city besides Paris, the train platform area should look like the following:

If you’re taking the RER B to Paris, remember to keep your train ticket with you at all times throughout the journey.  You may be asked by a ticket controller to show a valid fare or otherwise pay a penalty fare of 35€. The tickets are also required to exit the arrival station in Paris as there will be turnstiles protecting the exits, just as they protect entrances.
Finally, your RER train ticket is also good for connections onto the Paris Metro and other RER train lines once you’ve arrived in Paris given that:

your connections are made within 90 minutes (counting from ticket validation time at CDG Train station turnstiles/gates)
you don’t leave the confines of Metro/RER stations after arriving in Paris
you aren’t transferring onto buses or trams –  your RER train ticket isn’t valid for them. You must purchase a new Metro/Bus/Tram ticket to transfer onto buses & trams.

The first Paris city centre station will be Gare du Nord, requiring about 30 minutes for the voyage from Airport CDG Terminal 2.  Paris stations along the RER B line after Gare du Nord will be Chatelet Les Halles, St. Michel-Notre Dame, Luxembourg, Port Royal, Denfert Rochereau and Cité Universitaire.
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Schedules & Virtual Tour
The following train timetables show departure times of RER B trains leaving CDG Terminal 2 towards Paris and here are instructions on how to read Paris RER Timetables.
RER B Train Schedule (departure times) CDG Terminal 2 to Paris Mondays to Fridays (except holidays)
RER B Train Schedule (departure times) CDG Terminal 2 to Paris Saturday, Sunday and holidays
First & last trains timetable for Paris Metro and RER A / RER B trains.
Gares360.com has produced a virtual photo visit of CDG Terminal 2 train station, allowing you to visually see all levels of the train station.  Select the level & vantage point you wish to see on the bottom right hand corner of the screen.

Finally here’s a video detailing the Facts & Figures about the RER B train line in Paris.
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The post CDG Airport Terminal 2 to Paris appeared first on Paris by Train.

Paris Metro

How to use the Paris Metro subway
Paris Metro maps, schedules, tickets, passes, helpful travel tips.

Maps
Schedules
Route Planner
Single Ticket

Day Ticket Mobilis
Multi-day Pass Paris Visite
Week Pass Navigo
How to Ride

The Paris Metro consists of 300 stations on 16 lines covering the 10x10km area of central Paris. [1][2] Metro lines are numbered from 1 to 14 with two “bis” or secondary lines 3b and 7b.
<!–Paris Metro will not be affected by strike May 2018 / June 2018. Paris RER trains including the RER B from CDG Airport, will be affected by strike. See the Paris RER train strike page for when and how Paris trains will be affected by Paris train strike action.–>

Paris Metro Maps
The public transit authority of Paris (RATP) offers three Metro system maps that can be downloaded together at ParisByTrain.com :
a basic Paris Metro map of lines with stations and interchanges

a condensed small format Paris Metro map

a Paris Metro map with city streets

Other Metro maps such as individual line maps can be downloaded directly from RATP.fr (in french).
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Paris Metro Schedules
The Paris Metro runs from roughly 05:30 till 00:40 (5:30am – 12:40am) Sunday thru Thursday and 05:30 – 01:40 on Fridays, Saturdays and on days before a holiday. Frequency between most trains range from 2 minutes during rush hour up to 8-10 minutes during off hours, holidays, and sundays.
Download a schedule/timetable of first and last Paris Metro trains. Updated January 2013. (Even though this is quite old, the times are roughly unchanged and the RATP has stopped producing this full schedule.) Times are approximate! This includes schedule of first/last Paris RER A (Disneyland) and RER B (airport) trains.

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Route Planning
The RATP offers a route planner via their website which can use street addresses, station names or well known locations to create a travel itinerary for you, including necessary connections and total travel time. Route options under “Criteria” can be chosen for fewest connections, least amount of walking and quickest route (the default).

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Tickets & Passes
There are a wide variety of tickets available including single ride tickets, books of 10 or 20, single day passes, multi-day passes, Monday to Sunday week passes, monthly passes and year passes.

Single Use Tickets

Single tickets for the Metro are known as “Ticket t+”. These tickets are valid for a single continuous journey of any length, throughout the Metro system, including changes to other Metro lines and RER interurban trains within Zone 1. These tickets are sold as single units or in books of 10.
Tickets can be purchased from ticket windows inside stations or through automated ticket vending machines accepting Euro coins and smart chip credit cards. The single ticket price is .
Books of ten, called a “carnet” [kar-nay], are sold at a discount for ( each, a little under 20% off the regular fare). Children from ages 4 to 9 years old (inclusive) can use reduced fare tickets, which are available only in books of 10, for per book of ten. Children 3 and under ride for free. Keep in mind that non-smart chip credit cards will not work at either the automated ticket machines nor at ticket windows, thus Euro cash or coin would be required.
Read more about Paris Metro Tickets and transfers allowed.
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Day tickets

A day ticket is called the Ticket Mobilis which is good for unlimited rides on the Metro system during operating hours for the day it is used. (Not valid for airports, see note below.) Physically it’s a coupon of about the same size as the Paris Metro Ticket t+.
Ticket Mobilis is available in various fare zone coverage from 1-2 zones to 1-5 zones. If you’ll be traveling strictly within central Paris, zones 1 & 2 cover the entire Metro system, and a 1-2 zone Ticket Mobilis is the recommended ticket. Price is .
The complete price schedule for this Paris day ticket is as follows:
Price schedule courtesy of RATP

As the Ticket Mobilis can be purchased on one day and used someday in the future you must print the date of use on the ticket before use. To prevent people sharing tickets, first and last names are also required.
Note: Ticket Mobilis day pass is not valid for Paris CDG Airport nor Paris Orly Airport except by using Paris airport bus 350 or Paris airport bus 351 for CDG Airport and buses 183 or 285 for Orly Airport.  (Non-express city buses, 2-3X travel time.)   This means that RER B train, Roissybus, Orlybus, Orlyval train are all not valid for the Mobilis day ticket.
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Multi-Day Paris Metro Tickets
Multi-day tickets aimed at tourists and visitors are known as the Paris Visite, available in 3 zone and 5 zone versions, for 1, 2, 3 or 5 day lengths. Prices for duration and zones are as follows (updated ):
Price schedule courtesy of RATP

The Carte Paris Visite is a multi-use paper ticket coupon (similar to a Ticket Mobilis or Ticket t+). Formerly (prior to 2014) the Paris Visite also came with a black folding card which required the printed name of the bearer and the ticket coupon requires the card number and date of use to be written on in pen, as to avoid ticket sharing between passengers. This is no longer in practice as of mid-2014. You will only receive the white paper Paris Visite ticket itself.
Paris Visite Pass 5-day 3-zone
Discounts to attractions in and around Paris are included with the Paris Visite card. (See the discounts on Paris Visite.) To take advantage of the discount at the attractions, simply present your Paris Visite ticket during its validity period (which you must mark on the ticket itself using a pen, along with your first & last name).
Buy Paris Visite Online – You can buy Paris Visite tickets online for home delivery through the Paris Visitor Bureau website, but I wouldn’t recommend it due to the delivery cost. For USA/Canada/Australia/Japan (anywhere overseas) the cost of delivery is 24€ through DHL Express. In United Kingdom, delivery of Paris Visite is 14,50€. There is one free “delivery” option for buying Paris Visite online – pickup your Paris Visite at the Paris Visitor Bureau. But, I can’t imagine why you’d purchase Paris Visite online to have it delivered to the Paris Visitor Bureau, in Paris, which would require a Metro ride in itself, a trip that would likely take 90 minutes round-trip from your hotel. You could just purchase the Paris Visite at any Metro ticket machine or ticket window, anywhere in Paris, at CDG/Orly airports or at any of the major intercity train stations throughout Paris.
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Paris Metro Week Tickets/Passes
Week long tickets are sold in the form of plastic contactless smartcards known as the Pass Navigo Découverte.

This pass is valid for travel strictly from Monday till Sunday, rather than any continuous 7 day period, which makes it less attractive for visitors arriving mid-week. It is purchasable for use in the current week from ticket windows at most Metro, RER and large train stations up until Thursday 11:59 PM. Starting from Friday, week passes for the following week are on sale. The Pass Navigo Découverte week pass is not available from automated ticket vending machines. 4 different fare zones are available although nearly everyone will want all zones which covers central Paris out to zone 5.  The other three zones available (2-5, 3-5, 4-5) do not include central Paris. Pass Navigo prices are as follows (Tarifs Semaine = Weekly Price, Tarifs Mois = Monthly Price, updated ):
Price schedule courtesy of RATP

Zones 1-5 will cover travel to & from Airports Charles de Gaulle (CDG) and Orly (ORY, by Orlybus, not Orlyval train), which are in zones 5 and 4 respectively and Paris-Versailles trains (zone 4).
The prices above do not include the 5€ fee for the plastic card itself, non-refundable, unlike the London Oyster card.
To purchase the pass Navigo Découverte you will be required to present and attach a face photo measuring 3cm tall x 2.5cm wide to the paper nominative card that comes in addition to the plastic smartcard.

Home printing of this photo, black & white or colour, is acceptable. You will be required to print your name on this card as well. After the paper card is completed a self-adhesive clear plastic cover is folded over the face of the card, protecting the picture and name of the holder. The contactless smart card and the paper card must be carried together to be valid for travel.
There is some confusion between the Carte Orange and Pass Navigo in terms of week passes. Carte Orange was previously a physical coupon like ticket (much like the Ticket Mobilis) and paper nominative photo card that is now no longer in use. This coupon and paper card has been replaced by the new contactless smart cards known as the Pass Navigo and Pass Navigo Découverte (for non-residents of France). The Paris regional transit authority has phased out the name “Carte Orange” as the name of the weekly or monthly “subscriptions” that you must purchase and “add” to your Pass Navigo or Pass Navigo Découverte.
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Riding the Paris Metro
Paris Airports
Paris airports are accessible via the RER train system, rather than the Paris Metro. See instructions on the RER B from CDG to Paris, Orly to Paris and Paris Beauvais Airport Train for more information.
Paris Stations & Metro Tickets
Most of Paris’ 300 Metro stations are located underground with a handful above ground. Stations are marked with various styles of signs as shown below.
Photo jmanners

Photo tinkerbells

Photo SarahR89

Some Metro stations are joined with large train stations (“gare”) serving other types rail transport such as intercity surface trains and RER regional express trains which travel both above and below ground. Some notable large stations within Paris serving all three types of train transport include: Gare St. Lazare, Gare du Nord , Gare de l’Est, Gare de Lyon, Gare d’Austerlitz and Gare Montparnasse. Most stations and Paris Metro lines are not handicap accessible save for a few exceptions . Stations have multiple entrances/exits, up to ten for the largest underground station, Chatelet Les Halles.
Photo Mirka23

Street maps are posted throughout central Paris providing information on the local district (“arrondissement”). These maps can be useful in locating nearby Metro stations.
Within a Metro station, tickets can be purchased from manned ticket windows and from automated ticket vending machines. Most passes are only sold from ticket windows although the Ticket Mobilis day ticket is available via the machines.
Photo squarejer

Ticket windows may not be open nor manned at all times thus requiring use of the vending machines. Certain entrances to stations may give direct access to train platforms, which require that you already have your ticket or pass. Ticket vending machines such as the one shown in the photo accept Euro coins (for purchases up to 30€) and smartchip credit cards. Cash notes or bills are not accepted at these machines. See the guide on using Paris Metro ticket vending machines for more information.
Access to Metro train platforms is controlled via turnstiles or gate type barriers which are operated by either magnetic stripe coupon tickets (Ticket t+, Mobilis, etc.) or contactless smart cards such as the Pass Navigo Decouverte. To operate the barrier with a ticket, insert the ticket magnetic stripe side down, into a turnstile that is not marked with a red X or red circle which indicates an exit only turnstile. The ticket slot should be on your right while inserting the ticket (see the photo below). The ticket will be ejected on the top of the turnstile which you must retrieve to unlock the barrier.
If the ticket is accepted a short high pitched buzzing sound will be emitted, sometimes along with a message displayed on the turnstile requesting you take your ticket back (“Reprenez votre ticket”). Remove the ticket and walk through the turnstile or approach closely the gate barrier and wait for it to open. Some gates are slow to open, especially side swinging double door gates. If your ticket appears to have been accepted, yet the gate has not swung open, be sure you are sufficiently close to the gates in order to trip the sensor. Be patient and don’t panic. The gate should swing open within 5 seconds maximum. A ticket that is not accepted will cause the turnstile to emit a longer, lower pitched (unpleasant) buzzing noise, sometimes with a message in red indicating your ticket was not valid. See an employee at a ticket window or information booth for help in this case. They will usually open a wheelchair accessible gate for you to pass through.
Operating barriers with contactless smart cards works by passing the card over the purple reader zone on the tops of the turnstiles or barriers. The smart cards may take a second or two to be recognized by the transponders, so keep the pass over the reader area until a “ding” sound is emitted for an accepted pass. Keep in mind that passes near expiration will cause the barrier to emit a buzzing noise instead of a ding, along with a message noting the date of expiry. Pass through the turnstile or gate as per normal.
Many Metro stations serve multiple lines through several different train platforms within a single station. To find your way to the correct platform in the correct direction requires that you to keep a mindful eye on signs posted throughout the pedestrian tunnels.
Photo roboppy
 

At each subterranean intersection you will see Metro line numbers and possibly station names which are used to denote direction of travel. Direction of travel is always denoted by the terminus station, the last station or stop on the line, rather than magnetic pole directions such as north, south, east, west. To understand whether the line is going in the direction you wish to travel, you should refer a Paris Metro map, which are posted near station entrances and on all train platforms.
Nearly all train platforms have overhead signs showing the time remaining till the next two trains arrive at the station, denoted in minutes. These signs are also a way to verify that you’re on the correct line, heading in the correct direction. The photo below shows Metro Line 4 in direction of Porte d’Orleans with 4 minutes remaining till the next train arrives. On the opposite side of this platform will be another sign of exact same color and number, but the direction will be marked as Porte de Clignancourt, the opposite direction. Keep in mind that the train arrival times posted on these signs are only estimates and are not always accurate. Due to traffic congestion and rider issues minutes may be added or subtracted at any moment.
On rare occasion, but worth mentioning, some Metro line platforms are accessed by traversing another platform for a different line. This means you’ll arrive at a platform and think the current platform is the correct one, but in reality, your desired line is further along. Pay special attention to the overhead signs and the system maps posted on the platform walls to ensure you’re on the correct platform.
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Paris Metro Trains
Metro train cars come in a variety of different shapes, colours and sizes.
Photo daveknapik

Nearly all Metro cars require manual operation to open their doors. This is done through either a lever or a button on the door itself near the centre opening. Metro Line 14 is a notable exception being completely automated and driver-less.
Photo otherthings

Fold-down seats are available just inside Metro train car doors, but these seats should only be used when there is sufficient space for travelers to easily enter and exit the train car. Rush hours will generally be too busy to use these seats. Rush hour travel on the Metro in Paris is a chance to exercise your “personal space” limits. Don’t be surprised if you end up completely pressed up against other passengers. It’s normal, it’s accepted… it’s simply a slice of commuter life in Paris. Don’t worry about not being able to descend the train when your stop arrives. Simply say “Excusez-moi” and people will immediately begin making room for you to alight, even if it requires that they descend the train also, just to let you off. Parisiens are very well versed in Metro manners and if you’ve read up to this point… you are now as well.
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Exiting
After having arrived at your desired station you can make your way out of the station by following the blue “Sortie” signs. These signs will often be mixed with directional signs for various Metro lines shared by a station. This photo shows the multitude of exits and lines available for both the Metro and the RER at the world’s largest underground station: Chatelet Les Halles.
Each exit is usually referred to by the street or landmark upon which it exits.

Photo carboncopyrocks!

To determine which exit is best for you refer to an exit map located within the Metro station, usually just after exiting the fare paid zone (see next paragraph).
To exit the fare paid zone within stations you’ll either pass through exit turnstiles (look for green lights on the face of the turnstiles or for open gates) or through doors opened by pressure plates or infrared sensors.(Pressure activated doors are visible on the left hand side of the photo below.)
Frequently Asked Questions
Paris Metro vs. RER – What’s the difference?
The Metro is a classic subway system: mostly underground, many stops, frequent service, short line distances, serving the urban city centre, non-scheduled train timings. The RER (Réseau Express Régional) is a commuter train system that covers much of the greater metropolitan area of Paris (Ile-de-France ), much further out than that covered by the Metro, including specifically both Paris Airports: Paris Roissy-Charles de Gaulle (CDG) and Paris-Orly (ORY) , Disneyland® Paris, and Chateau Versailles. The confusing part is that the RER traverses central Paris with a handful of stations, acting like an express Metro system with fewer stops, larger trains and faster movement. Paris fare zones apply to the RER train system, unlike the Metro and there are six of them. Using a Metro ticket, the Ticket t+, is permitted on the RER, but only to the limits of Zone 1, the true center of Paris, bordered by the ring road surrounding it, the Boulevard Periphérique.
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Further Reading
History, facts and figures of the Paris Metro (wikipedia, en français )
Paris Regional Transport Authority, RATP (partial site available in in English )
Photos of the Paris Metro system (wikipedia commons)
Guides on Paris Airport trains, Paris Disneyland train and Paris train stations
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References

STIF: Les Chiffes, 2005. “Le Reseau du Transports en Commun”. http://www.stif-idf.fr
Extension of M14 & M13 lines in 2007 & 2008 has added 3 new stations, now totalling 300. http://extension-reseau.ratp.fr

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