On Oct. 10, near the end of my two-week trip to Paris, I took the funicular up to the Cathedral on Montmartre. No problem. After a tour of the church, I took it down. There I was met with three female agents from RATP, which runs the Paris Metro system. They demanded that I produce my cancelled ticket. I had dropped it on the floor of the funicular, and asked for permission to pick it up. No such luck. Legally,. when you exit a RATP vehicle, you have to have a cancelled ticket in your possession.
They demanded that I pay a fine of 50 euros (about $65) on the spot, or I would be arrested. I couldn't escape their clutches, because when you exit the funicular, you are in a confined space with glass walls. I had to pay. This is clearly a shakedown. If they had tried this on a regular Metro train, the howls of indignation would have reached the Presidential Palace.
The claim was that there were turnstile jumpers at the top of the funicular, and this was a way to catch them. Look, I am 77 years old and could not jump over a piece of Camembert. There of course were no signs at the top of the hill telling people to hold on to their ticket. I have filed a complaint, but I doubt I will ever see the 50 euros again.
A second topic, if I may. The Roissy bus from Charles de Gaulle airport is good, although tangled in traffic. We took it on your advice. It ends at the Opera Garnier. I would advise your readers that, if they have heavy luggage and are not in their 20s, take a taxi from the Opera to your hotel, as opposed to using Metro. No Metro station in Paris is free from steep stairs. Carrying luggage up and down is not for the weak-hearted.