Every time there has been a surge in pollution levels in Paris in recent years, public transport has become free for the day or even several days as was the case late last year.
The move was implemented to compensate for the fact authorities imposed driving restrictions on motorists and was also intended to encourage motorists to leave their vehicles at home and take the train (or bus) instead
The plan, however, came at a cost of around €4 million per day in lost revenue, which adds up quickly if there are several days in a row of free transport, as Paris saw in December.
Determined not to face similar losses in 2017, the president of the Ile-de-France region Valérie Pécresse, will present a plan on Wednesday to introduce one-off day passes that would be specifically rolled out when pollution levels spike, reported Le Parisien newspaper.
The cost would be €3.80 for a full day of transport, the price of two one-way tickets.
Pécresse said that the region's transport authority Stif simply “does not have the means” to cover the €80 million of lost revenue predicted for 2017.
“We will ask the government to pay but I don't foresee a favourable response,” she added.
Paris has taken steps to ease pollution including introducing a obligatory new system of stickers to highlight the most polluting vehicles.
The new system of stickers (called “vignettes”, pictured below) will be rolled out in mid-January, meaning all vehicles in the French capital must have a sticker that corresponds to its polluting levels.
The stickers are all colour-coded with green for the cleanest cars and grey for the most pollutant. In future when there are spikes in air pollution those with the “dirtiest” cars will have to leave them at home or face financial penalties.