Okay, twice tonight I have hit the wrong train; I blame the wine. I didn't do this on all of my other trips until now. I'm on the correct platform now and the train is arriving.
While the Paris Metro has been good to me and has the advantage of getting to lots of places, there are things about WMATA that I like better. I think I have smelled more pee at the Paris Metro in four days than I have smelled in five years of riding in DC. Though I will say that I like the Paris doors that only open on demand rather than opening all of them. However, their newer trains have fully automatic doors and they all open, so maybe that says something. Most of the trains do not have any station announcements while you're riding, except for some of these newer trains, and even those just have an automated voice. Advantage: WMATA, even if some of their drivers suck at being clear when they're talking.
It amazes me how much graffiti is in the tunnels in Paris, that is not something you see in DC. Of course, the trains move slower here so it is more easily seen. While Paris does have more train lines and more connecting stations, to get from one station to another is very convoluted. You will walk quite a distance to go to another platform, and some stations are not forgiving if you get on the wrong side of the platform. At those stations, you will have to exit the gate and go to the gate on the other side. If you only have one fare, you just wasted it.
Overall though I am glad that there is a Metro system to use, and that I didn't waste my money buying a Le' Open Tour ticket for the double decker buses. Lesson learned for next time though, I only need the zone 1-3 pass for the system, I never crossed into zones 4-6.
Still, I like WMATA better, despite its warts., even if that could be due to familiarity with their system. One way that they could improve is to have easier to read "next train" signage. Paris has dedicated next train signs on the platforms that show the times for the next train, there's no other announcements getting in the way.
I also see the train riders behave similarly here. They crowd around the doors and do not move into the middle. The Paris trains do not have poles or ceiling rails to hang onto, but only around the doors. On the other hand, they can actually open some of the windows inside. I imagine if WMATA tried that, they would be broken in about 2 seconds.
Something else I just realized about Paris Metro trains is that they are defined by a driving car on each end, all the middle cars are connected together and open. So if an end car were to break down, it has to be replaces, you couldn't just switch it with a middle car.
Ugh, I feel like shit right now. All these weather and temperature changes are taking their toll on me and my running around everywhere probably did not help. Besides an earlier mentioned throat issue, I'm going from a stuffy nose to a full-blown sinus infection. Oh well, I was due for one this year anyway.