Noctilien is the night bus service in Paris and its agglomeration. It is managed by the Île-de-France Mobilités (formerly the STIF), the Île-de-France regional public transit authority, and operated by RATP (with 32 lines) and Transilien SNCF (with 16 lines).

Noctilie logo.svg
Bus Noctilien N151 Saint-Lazare.jpg
Noctilien Bus N151 at Paris - Gare Saint-Lazare
ParentÎle-de-France Mobilités (ex-STIF)
Commenced operationSeptember 21, 2005 (2005-09-21)
Service areaÎle-de-France Region
Service typeBus and Express Bus
  • Paris * Near & Remote suburbs * Paris Airports (Orly & CDG)
StationsMétro, RER and Transilien stations
DepotsRATP & Optile bus centers
FleetCity buses and express coaches
Daily ridershipFrom 22,000 travelers (weeknight) to 36,000 travelers (weekend night) (2016)
Annual ridership9.82 million travelers (2016)[1]
OperatorRATP & Transilien SNCF
Chief executivePresident of Île-de-France Mobilités

It replaced the previous Noctambus service on the night of 20/21 September 2005, providing for a larger number of lines than before and claiming to be better adapted to night-time transport needs.

In place of the previous hub-and-spoke scheme where all buses terminated at and departed from the heart of Paris: Châtelet Paris Métro, Noctilien's new service includes buses operating between banlieues (communes surrounding Paris proper) as well as outbound lines running from Paris' four main railway stations: Gare de l'Est, Gare de Lyon, Gare Montparnasse and Gare Saint-Lazare. In addition, these four stations are also connected to each other by a regular night bus service.

Several Noctilien Buses at Paris-Gare de Lyon hub bus station (Rue de Bercy)

All in all, Noctilien operates 48 bus lines, from the end of the rail network and day bus service (around 00:30) until their resumption early in the morning (around 05:30), over the whole of Paris and the Île-de-France region.

It is made up of:

  • 2 circular lines: N01 & N02 running between Paris' major train stations ;
  • 6 transversal lines: from N11 to N16 running between different suburbs of Paris via its center at Châtelet  ;
  • 21 radial lines (the other 2 digits lines, except N71) running between major Paris stations and more or less its near suburbs ;
  • 2 radial long distance lines: N122 & N153 (subcontracted by the RATP) running between Paris and its remote suburbs ;
  • 15 radial long distance lines (the other 3 digits lines, except N135) running between Paris and its remote suburbs (with often a partly motorway route) and managed by the Transilien SNCF ;
  • 2 ring lines in the suburbs: N71 by RATP & N135 by Transilien SNCF.

Like Transilien, the name "Noctilien" is formed by analogy with "Francilien" — the French demonym for residents of Île-de-France.

Noctilien linesEdit

Line numbering schemeEdit

Each bus line number starts with   for Noctilien followed by a two or three digit number:

Noctilien Bus N02 at Vavin near Paris-Gare Montparnasse
  • 2 digits starting with "N0" for the two "circular" routes
  • 2 digits starting with "N1" for the "transversal" routes
  • 2 digits starting with "N2" for buses running from Châtelet    
  • 2 digits starting with "N3" for buses running from Gare de Lyon      
  • 2 digits starting with "N4" for buses running from Gare de l'Est    
  • 2 digits starting with "N5" for buses running from Gare Saint-Lazare      
  • 2 digits starting with "N6" for buses running from Gare Montparnasse      
  • 3 digits starting with "N1" for the long distance buses running to the outer suburbs.


  1. ^ Lambert, Bertrand (18 December 2017). "La galère des transports nocturnes" [The real hassle of night transports]. Parigo. Episode 13 (in French). YouTube. Event occurs from 01'30" to 01'37". France 3. Paris Île-de-France. Retrieved 27 February 2019. Magazine of the Paris France 3-TV editorial dedicated to mobility in the Île-de-France region.
  • This article draws heavily on the French Wikipedia page "Noctilien", downloaded 18 February 2006.

External linksEdit