Paris metro line 14 extension opened at Saint-Denis.  @EmmanuelMacron

After months of racing against the clock, Emmanuel Macron inaugurated the extension of line 14, connecting Saint-Denis in the north of Paris to Orly Airport, one month before the opening of the Olympic Games.

Heavily involved in the preparations for this global event, Macron made the inaugural journey between Mairie de Saint-Ouen and the brand-new Saint-Denis Pleyel station, six days before the first round of very uncertain legislative elections triggered by his surprise dissolution of the National Assembly.

“I declare the extended line 14 open (...). In a few minutes, you will be able to take passengers,” announced RATP CEO Jean Castex over the walkie-talkie, to the applause of the crowd.

“It is a collective effort, what the Republic knows how to do by bringing together all the forces of the nation,” praised Emmanuel Macron, referring to a project that will “successfully change lives in a very concrete way.”

After a tour of the new station, the President quickly left the scene without an official speech.

Stretching 28 km, with eight new stations and crossing 11 municipalities, line 14 will transport one million passengers a day by mid-2025, becoming the first "super metro" in the Paris region.

Grand Paris Express

This marks the realisation of the Grand Paris Express promise, first outlined by Nicolas Sarkozy in 2009, with transport infrastructure connecting the suburbs of the capital. The former president was also present for this inauguration.

The extended line 14 is the first of this new network, which will see 200 km of new automatic metro lines – lines 15, 16, 17, and 18 – and 68 new stations across the Île-de-France region by 2030.

It is also a crucial line for the smooth running of the Olympic Games, as it will serve the athletes' village, Stade de France, and the aquatic centre in the north. In the south, it will link to Orly Airport in 25 minutes from Châtelet, in central Paris.

To complete the extension on time, RATP had to work intensively, finishing the work at the cost of numerous line closures on weekends, during school holidays, and in the evenings.

These “service interruptions” were often misunderstood by users, notes Jimmy Brun, spokesperson for the public group.

But Edgar Sée, former project director and now RATP’s “Mr Olympics,” puts it into perspective: “Modernising and extending an operating line with so little impact on service is unique in the world.”

260,000 Residents

To meet the anticipated surge in ridership, Île-de-France Mobilités (IDFM) spent €1.1 billion to purchase 72 new trains, 50 of which will be in service by the Olympics.

The extension cost €3.5 billion, fully financed by the Société du Grand Paris (SGP).

The extension will benefit 260,000 residents in southern Paris, Val-de-Marne, and Essonne, according to IDFM.

At Orly, “10% of employees and travellers will immediately switch from cars to the metro,” while currently “90% of the 28,000 platform employees and 70% of passengers use private vehicles,” estimates Groupe ADP, expecting nearly 100,000 passengers a day to pass through the new station.

The line will also connect to other significant sites in southern Île-de-France, such as the Rungis market, the future Cité de la Gastronomie opening in 2028, and the scientific valley of Bièvre.

After eight years of work, this is one of RATP’s major projects coming to completion before the inauguration of the southern section of the future line 15, expected at the end of 2025.

RATP is also focusing on another significant programme: automating line 13, the eternally problematic and overcrowded line, scheduled for completion in 2035.