The Paris subway company announced yesterday that in accordance with a vote taken at a shareholders’ meeting Friday it has changed its name from “Compagnie du Chemin de Fer Métropolitain de Paris” to “Société Générale de Traction et d’Exploitations.”
The company will thus drop the word “Métropolitain,” which, shortened into “métro,” has passed into the French language to designate any city underground railway.
Its new name, which conveys little to the general public, will probably be abbreviated to SGTE, but even if those letters replace the monogram linking the first letters of the old name on the Paris subway trains Parisians are not likely to stop calling their underground system the “métro.”
The board of directors explained the change of name by plans to extend the company’s activities to the construction of underground systems — which, incidentally, were called officially “métropolitains” — in other countries, especially in the United States.
With this end in view, officials announced a subsidiary company has been formed under the name of “Société d’Études pour la Réalisation de Chemins de Fer Métropolitains” (SERM), which has already sent two groups of experts to America to prepare reports and construction plans.
— The New York Herald, European Edition, June 20, 1948