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An Imminent End to The Use of Metro Tickets in Paris

IDFM Announces Two Replacements

The use of metro tickets in Paris dates back to 1900. The end to the use of the white rectangular tickets is, however, imminent as a fully automated system similar to what exists in London is about to be introduced to the region.  Earlier this week, Ile-de-France Mobilites (IDFM), the coordinating organization in charge of transport networks in Paris and its environs decided on Wednesday to proceed with the introduction of a full automation system by 2021. According to Valerie Pecresse, IDFM’s president and the regional head, the organization is seeking to eliminate the use of the metro tickets gradually.

At the moment, several commuters have begun to utilize the Navigo weekly, monthly or yearly electronic card to move around. Navigo has similarities with the Oyster card used in London.  In addition to this existing card, IDFM wants to introduce two other alternatives that are designed to be appealing to occasional travelers and tourists for use on the Paris metro, which is deemed the world’s 10th busiest subway system serving about 1.5billion passengers annually.

However, the busy system is substandard technology-wise and is led by other systems such as London and Tokyo. The issuance of the metro tickets finds a spot on the list of the core problems of the system in this context. As expressed by Sebastien Mabille, a spokesman of IDFM, about five percent of the tickets tend to become demagnetized and ultimately lose functionality. The loss of functionality according to IDFM often causes the customers to get frustrated and the passes to be introduced would strategically solve the problem.

Sebastien Mabille noted that about five percent of metro tickets tend to become demagnetized and ultimately lose their functionality

According to IDFM, it would introduce the new passes in April, and October 2018 thus affording the metro and connected bus and rail network system enough time to reach full digitalization before the commencement of the Paris Olympics in 2004. Thus, from 2019, commuters would be able to buy any of the two new travel passes rather than the old rectangular passes with magnetic strip affixed on the back. Particularly, Ile-de-France Mobilités is introducing the new cards to avoid waste on the nearly 550 million tickets printed annually as several of them end up on pavements

Navigo Liberté

In a statement released by IDFM, they intend to create two new cards to replace the existing magnetic tickets that would be more suitable to commuters’ needs depending on their respective profiles.  Accordingly, the first travel pass which would be usable with the existing Navigo monthly travel pass is referred to as Navigo Liberté+ and will be introduced in October 2019.

According to the IDFM, Navigo Liberté+ will be suitable for commuters who regularly travel around Paris but not to the extent of purchasing a monthly Navigo pass that gives room for unlimited travel. Navigo Liberté+ according to Transport authorities would be of utmost interest to about 1.2milion commuters who make about 20 trips monthly using Paris public transport.  Each journey will be priced at the same cost of buying the discounted pack of 10 metro tickets priced at €14.90 at the moment. In essence, each journey will cost €1.49.  Currently, in Paris, sources confirm that buying a single Metro bus or tram ticket costs €1.90 or €2 if payment is made on a bus.

According to the IDFM, Navigo Liberté+ will be suitable for commuters who regularly travel around Paris but not to the extent of purchasing a monthly Navigo pass that gives room for unlimited travel

Also, the transport authorities stated that the Navigo Liberté+ card would be directly linked to a bank card so the cost per journey can directly be subtracted from the account, doing away with the need to top it up regularly. More importantly, the Navigo Liberté+ card allows commuters to make use of one ticket to board the Metro, tram and the bus for which people are currently expected to buy two different tickets.

Navigo Easy

Navigo Easy is the second alternative pass to be introduced as a replacement for the current metro tickets. According to IDFM, Navigo Easy will be designed to be more suitable for occasional travelers, e.g. tourists. This card will need to be topped up by the user paying for the trip to be added on the single tickets or the bulk of ten tickets.

The contactless card which is modeled after London’s Oyster cards will be launched in April 2019 and each will be at the price of €2. According to  Ile-de-FRance Mobilites, people can share the Navigo Easy cards as it is non-nominative and can, therefore, be given to friends.  The Navigo Easy card also does not have a time limit, and IDFM estimates that about 5.8 million commuters will show interest in this card when it is introduced.

Upon introduction, Navigo Liberté+ and Navigo Easy will mark the end of the magnet-back metro tickets.

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