Due to a thick blanket of smog bringing inevitable comparisons to Beijing, Paris has launched alternative driving days in the city for the first time since 1997. Cars and two-wheelers with even-numbered plates are banned from entering the city and its inner suburbs from 5:30 am until midnight; should smog conditions continue, odd-numbered plates will be banned on Tuesday. Several classes of vehicles are exempt, including “virtuous” (“vertueux”) vehicles: EVs, hybrids or natural gas cars and cars with more than 3 occupants.
The movement of trucks over 3.5 tonnes is prohibited regardless of the day.
The implementation of the alternating traffic plan also includes accompanying measures to ease the burden on Parisians, including:
Maintaining free residential parking for Parisians
Free parking for banned cars which cannot move.
Free short term rentals and first-time car sharing.
In addition to the virtuous vehicles, those not affected by the ban are:
- Fire and rescue vehicles, transport related to health, disabilities, drugs, and funeral transport.
- Buses, taxis, and driving school vehicles.
- Construction vehicles and equipment, troubleshooting, moving, cleaning, garbage trucks, money transport, newspapers, mail, tanker trucks, refrigerated trucks, etc.
- Professional vehicles in some cases. Bus and subway drivers can use their car regardless of its license plate to get to their work, as well as sales representatives, and journalists.
- Trucks and vans under 3.5 tonnes.
- Vehicles registered abroad.