• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3
This shows how bad fare-dodging in Paris really is
Photo: AFP

This shows how bad fare-dodging in Paris really is

The Local · 17 Mar 2016, 16:08

Published: 17 Mar 2016 16:08 GMT+01:00

If you live in Paris, you’ll be familiar with the sight of people jumping the barriers to get a free ride on the Metro and RER.

In fact, it’s probably almost as common as spotting someone actually using their ticket or Navigo pass to get through the gates.

But the huge scale of the problem was revealed on Wednesday as an operation to crack down on ticket cheats got underway.

All in all a staggering 1,500 fare dodgers were snared within just three hours.

From 2pm, around 500 agents (a group made of ticket inspectors, SNCF and RER security officers and plain-clothes policeman) got into position at all the entrances to the train lines at Gare du Nord, stopping each passenger and asking to see their tickets.

Not surprisingly, many of those stopped were unable to produce a ticket and the numbers soon clocked up to 1,500.

“I lost my Navigo pass four months ago and I don’t want to pay €60 to get a new one,” was one woman's excuse, according to Le Parisien. She described the operation as “frankly excessive”.

The operation aimed to send a strong message to regular dodgers, estimated to make up 7 percent of all passengers, who may have calculated that it is worth their while to risk occasional fines rather than pay for a Navigo public transport pass.

Thanks to the 1,571 cheats who were caught transport officials raked in €12,000 in on-the-spot fines, with the operation set to be repeated on Thursday and Friday afternoons.

Story continues below…

Fare dodgers were handed on-the-spot fines of €30 for a non-validated ticket and €50 if they had no ticket at all. An additional €30 is added if the fine is not paid immediately - however, however that requires the inspectors to get the correct identity of those responsible, which is not always an easy task.

However, the foiled attack on a Thalys train last year led to a change in law, giving increased powers to SNCF security agents, including the authority to search travellers’ luggage and to hold them until transport police arrive should they refuse to declare their identity.

In February 2015, SNCF reported that it lost €500 million every year through people trying to cheat the ticket system, and increased passenger fines by up to twofold, penalizing passengers according to the length of their journey.
 

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
15-hour tailbacks in UK as France heightens checks
The local Kent Police force said there was a 12-mile tailback, which it put down to a “vast volume of holiday traffic”. Photo: AFP

British officials were drafted in to help French border police on Sunday after 15-hour queues built up at the port of Dover due to heightened entry checks.

15 injured in Welsh bus accident in France
The bus ended on its side in a ditch. Two helicopters were dispatched to the site. Photo: AFP

UPDATED: Fifteen people were injured, two of them seriously, when a bus carrying teenagers from Wales rolled over on a motorway in eastern France on Saturday, the local gendarmerie said.

Libya armed groups urge fight against French troops
Dozens of protesters rallied Friday outside the GNA’s former headquarters in a Tripoli navy base. Photo: AFP

Armed groups including Islamists have urged Libyans to mobilise against French and other foreign troops deployed in the country, denouncing their presence as a “blatant aggression”.

EgyptAir flight broke up midair after fire: report
The Airbus A320 was en route from Paris to Cairo when it disappeared from radar over the Mediterranean. Photo: AFP

An EgyptAir flight that crashed into the Mediterranean in May likely broke up in midair after a fire erupted in or near the cockpit, the New York Times has reported.

IMF boss Lagarde to stand trial over $400 million payout
Lagarde will be the third successive IMF chief to face trial. Photo: AFP

IMF chief Christine Lagarde was ordered Friday to stand trial in France over a massive state payout to a colourful tycoon when she was French economy minister, dealing a setback to her stellar career.

Hollande defends minister under fire over Nice attack
The Nice assault was the third major attack on French soil in the past 18 months. Photo: AFP

French President Francois Hollande on Friday defended his government from accusations it relaxed its anti-terror defences after the Euro championships, and announced plans to arm the fight against the Islamic State group which claimed the Nice attack.

Why was Nice ordered to delete CCTV images of attack?
Photo: AFP

The fact that city authorities in Nice were asked to delete images of the truck attack has only given weight to those criticizing the government.

Thirteen free and easy ways to learn French
Photo: Runs With Scissors/Flickr

Struggling to learn French? Here are some free and easy ways to help you conquer the language once and for all.

32 mistakes foreigners make when they arrive in France
Photo: Tatyana A./Flickr

How many of these have you committed?

France to supply Iraq artillery as it steps up fight against Isis
Photo: AFP

France is stepping up its battle against Isis in the Middle East.

Sponsored Article
5 reasons to try dating in Paris with The Inner Circle
Features
Six outdoor bars in Paris you simply must visit
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
The open-air Villette cinema has been cancelled over security fears
Culture
Henri Rousseau exhibition proves huge hit in Paris
National
Frenchman caught trying to sell Nice massacre souvenirs online
Society
OPEN NOW: Here's why you should head to the Paris Plages
Culture
What's on in France: Still plenty to see and do in July
Lifestyle
Treasures of Versailles to go on display in Australia
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
National
How to keep cool during France's heatwave
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
Nice attack: What we know so far
National
Nice attacker: Body-building, drug-taking, violent flirt
National
IN IMAGES: Drawings in tribute to Nice attack victims
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Society
Promenade des Anglais: The iconic heart of the French Riviera
France faces more questions after latest deadly attack
National
Why is France the target of choice for jihadist attacks?
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
Nice truck attack: 'Bodies went flying like bowling pins'
Nice attack: Families of missing make pleas on Twitter
Politics
Boris Johnson cheered and booed at Bastille Day party
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
Ten reasons not to leave Paris this summer
Ten ways other expats in France drive you mad
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
'Very Stupid' village in France honoured for its silly name
Travel
Ten crazy things to do in France if you dare
Society
Paris: an obstacle course for wheelchair users
Brits ignore Brexit fears to make dream move to France
2,766
jobs available