Paris is burning—over crowds of large tourist buses in its central areas, where they are seen both as causing congestion and as symbols of the over-tourism many Parisians feel is overtaking their city.
But the move may end up not as sweeping as the announcements from the city's city hall make it seem, because there is a level of 'impossible dream' built into the plan, and some adjustments will obviously be needed because Paris is, in reality, not looking to end its lucrative tourism business.
But meanwhile, Deputy Mayor Emmanuel Gregoire told local newspapers last week that "Buses are no longer welcome in the very heart of the city." He said the situation has reached "the total anarchy of tourist buses in Paris."
Instead, the city wants visitors to use the Metro, walk or bicycle. In Gregoire's words: "Tourists can do like everyone else does and switch to environmentally friendly mobility options or take public transport. We need change." The proposed legislation would also create new parking options for the buses—outside the city.
As described so far, the city's legislation will apply both to the coaches that bring group tours to the city from all over Europe but also to hop-on-hop-off buses that provide tours of the city. Ironically, one of the largest operators of those buses in Paris is RATP, the city's own public transit operator and parent of L'Open Tour.