PARIS Transport Authority (RATP) has flatly rejected claims of air pollution in Paris metro stations made by the French air quality campaigner association Respire. 

Respire filed an official complaint in court against RATP on March 23, claiming “deliberate misleading of” and “unintentional harm to” the public. According to the complaint there is a “critical level of pollution within the public areas of the metro,” based on studies in 2019 and 2021 carried out by Respire.  

The association claims that RATP is “deliberately avoiding informing the public of risks” and that for this reason they will go to court. 

RATP responded that “air quality in the metro has been continuously and scrupulously monitored since 1997” at three stations on metro lines 1 and 4 and on RER Line A, and that it has been taking various actions alongside the Île-de-France region against poor air quality for 20 years, including: 

  • an experiment launched with Wabtec in October 2020 to reduce particles produced when trains are braking  
  • a solution developed with partner Suez, involving positive ionisation of air in one metro station (initial results show a 20-30% reduction in particles according to size)  
  • equipping electric brakes in trains where possible (on lines 2, 5 and 9, and soon lines 4, 11 and 14)  
  • the acquisition of 12 new bi-mode shunting locomotives from CAF (delivery delayed), and 
  • and investment of €49m to add, renew or upgrade 340 tunnel ventilators between 2016-2020.