Le Bus Direct are a company which operate bus transfers between Charles de Gaulle Airport and Orly Airport in Paris and the city centre. The company changed its name from Le Cars Air France in 2006 and at the same time changed its operating model to simplify how they work.
When I visit Paris I usually take the bus if my hotel is conveniently located to one of the stops. While traffic congestion can be a problem if time is not an issue it is certainly a decent option to get you downtown.
Le Bus Direct Has Four Routes
There are four different services operated, conveniently numbered 1 through 4. Line 1 runs from Orly Airport to Paris Étoile / Champs-Élysées via Gare Montparnasse, Tour Eiffel and Trocadéro. Line 2 is from Charles de Gaulle Airport to Paris Eiffel Tower via via Porte Maillot, Etoile Champs-Elysées and Trocadero.
Line 3 is probably the least important for people visiting Paris as this is for transfers between Orly and Charles de Gaulle airports. Finally, Line 4 is from Charles de Gaulle Airport to Paris Gare Montparnasse via Gare de Lyon. The hotel on my last visit was a short walk from Gare de Lyon so I took Line 4.
Pricing and Duration
Service on Le Bus Direct is not particularly cheap. A return fare on Line 1 for an adult is €20, Line 2 and 4 are priced at €30 and line 3 is a steep €36. By comparison I can get a return bus ticket to and from Dublin Airport for €10. You can book on the web site and I found a discount code online. Use LBD10 and you get 10% off, so I was happy about that!
My line 4 journey is scheduled for 40 minutes however traffic does make a difference. My flight arrived so my bus hit rush hour in Paris meaning it took me over 1 hour and 10 minutes which is not all that fun to spend on a bus creeping along in traffic. Still, that is the nature of road transport versus rail.
Quality of Service
Frequency is approximately every half an hour for the buses which is far too spread out. At Charles de Gaulle, I waited 28 minutes for my bus and on the return it was 25 minutes wait in the wind and rain. Clearly this is no fault of the company but the vagaries of travel are such that this will happen.
Seating in the coaches is fairly standard and seems to be fairly aged. It is not particularly comfortable nor are the colours particularly nice as it’s all grey fabric. Some of the seats are in poor condition such as being stuck in a reclined position. It is not great for the prices being paid.
On the flip side there are people who help you with luggage and put it on and off the bus for you. They are very nice! I said “Thank you!” to one in English rather than French and he responded in Japanese with “Arigato!” which I found hilarious!
Nothing is wrong with Le Bus Direct, it does what it says on the tin. You get a transfer from the airport to one of the destinations they serve on the map. If you have a lot of luggage I would recommend the service as it is probably best to take it on the bus rather than on the train.
Thank you very much for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
Featured image via Air Info. All other images via Le Bus Direct.