Do not try to cheat the subway/metro system in Paris… you’ll get fined 40 euros or be escorted to the police station. It’s frustrating as a Canadian that is used to the TTC system where 1 ticket gets you to your final destination with the privilege of boarding the bus from the subway. Here in paris, you pay for each and every ride… taking the bus to the subway is 1 ticket, getting on the subway is another ticket, switching to the tram is another ticket… it may only be 12 Euros for 10 tickets, but they get used up real fast.
I tried cheating the system while heading home from a performance I had in a bar on Rue Andre Mazzet (the center of the arts district) but ended up back tracking after I saw no possibility of doing so. Upon my final boarding on the bus home, there was no driver… I was tempted not to use a ticket. In Paris you do not drop your ticket into the toll like you do in Toronto, rather you insert it into a scanner that prints a validation on the ticket which you are to keep on you.
There are “metro controllers” that cruise around the system in packs of 5 or 6 so that they can corner you and force you to pay. I was boarding the bus at midnight and felt no real risk, but thought to myself, you’ll have good karma if you just use the ticket.
Sure enough, that bus that was heading home at midnight got swarmed by controllers. 3 passengers were fined and forced to pay immediately in cash or by debit card (wireless debit machines were on hand). I thank my lucky stars I’m as straight as I am or I would have lost all the money I made at the show selling CDs :p