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On Paris Metro, Drug Abuse Reaches a Boiling Point

The transit workers’ union says some stations on Line 12 are too dangerous to stop at. What will the city do?
A Paris metro train running on Line 2, which crosses Northern Paris.
A Paris metro train running on Line 2, which crosses Northern Paris.Christian Hartmann/Reuters

In one section of the Paris metro, drug dealing and abuse has gotten so bad that some train drivers are refusing to stop at stations. Following a bad year for accidents and assaults, the trade union that represents workers of Paris transit body RATP warned last week that the North Paris stations on Metro Line 12—notably Marx Dormoy, Porte de la Chapelle and Marcadet – Poissonniers—are now so overrun with people selling and smoking crack that drivers no longer feel safe dropping off or picking up passengers there.

While regular services continue, some drivers have admitted that if fights or disturbances appear to have broken out on the station platform—or if too many addicts are massed on the platform—they will drive straight through to the next stop. It’s an occurrence they say is becoming more frequent.