European Union Page


The European Union is a political and economic union of twenty-seven countries, founded in 1956 and spreading across continental Europe over the following decades, and is now home to more than 500 million people.  It is based on the free movement of people, goods, services and money between its member states, and it stretches from the United Kingdom and Ireland to Greece and Bulgaria, and from Portugal and Spain to Finland and Poland.  The Schengen Treaty abolished passport controls between many of the member states, allowing travel across international borders as easily as between Canadian provinces or American states.  Most of the EU members are also members of the Eurozone, an economic and monetary union of states that have adopted the Euro as a common currency.

Public transportation is very well developed in the EU and some of the world’s largest transit agencies are located in the EU’s major cities.  In fact, two of the oldest subway systems in the world operate in London and Paris.  There are also high-speed rail connections connecting several of the countries, allowing passengers to travel hundreds of kilometres in a few hours.  For instance, Paris, the capital and largest city in France, is located about 450 km from London, U.K., and about 800 km from Marseille, in the south of France.  However, the TGV train, reaching speeds of up to 320 km/h (200 MPH) can connect the Paris to London in two hours, and Paris to Marseille in three hours.

London, United Kingdom, and Paris, France, are two of the largest cities in Europe and have extensive public transit systems, operating subways, suburban railways and thousands of buses to serve their inhabitants.  London, which was the largest city in the world between 1831 and 1925, is still the largest city in the EU and second largest in Europe (after Moscow) with a city population of 7.5 million and a metropolitan population of 13.7 million.  Paris, the largest city in France, has 2.2 million people living within its city limits and 12.2 million people in its metropolitan area.  Click on the links below to see photos of public transit in London and Paris.


Transport for London (15 photos)


Régie autonome des transports parisiens (12 photos)