Paris to bid a final adieu to the traditional Metro ticket

Those little pieces of card that you carry around when you take the Paris Metro will soon become extinct.

Paris to bid a final adieu to the traditional Metro ticket
Photo: Generalised/Flickr

For 118 years, from the opening of the first line in 1900, those little rectangles of white card with a magnetic black line on the back have necessary  for most people to get around Paris.

But not for much longer.

Transport authorities in Paris have released plans that spell the end of the traditional Metro ticket.

From 2019 Metro and transport users will be able to purchase two new travel cards rather than buy the tiny pieces of white card with a magnetic strip on the back.

“We are creating two new cards, designed to replace the magnetic tickets, which better suit the needs of our users, according to their profile,” read a statement from Paris transport authority Ile-de-France Mobilités.

The first pass that can be used with the Navigo monthly travel card called “Navigo Liberté+” will be launched in October 2019.

The Navigo Liberté+ is designed for those who travel regularly around Paris but not enough for them to consider buying a monthly Navigo pass that allows unlimited travel.

Transport authorities believe the pass will interest the 1.2 million people who make around 20 trips on public transport in Paris each month.

The pass will allow travellers to use the Metro, RER, buses and trams and just pay for each journey. The price of that journey will be the same as the cost of a Metro ticket if you but a discounted pack of 10 tickets, which currently costs €14.90, so €1.49 per journey.

The price of a single Metro, tram or bus ticket in Paris is €1.90 or €2 if you pay on a bus.

The Navigo Liberté+ card will be linked to a bank card so will not need to be topped up regularly and the costs of each journey simply subtracted directly.

READ ALSO: The things you didn't know about those tiny Metro tickets


Importantly the card will allow travellers to use the same ticket to take the Metro and then the bus or the tram which currently requires people to buy two tickets.

The second pass that will be made available is the “Navigo Easy” which will be more designed for occasional travellers, such as tourists, with the user having to top up the card by paying for journeys to be added on, whether single tickets or a group of 10.

The contactless card, based on London's Oyster cards, will made available in April 2019 and will cost €2. The Navigo Easy cards can be shared by anyone.

“There will be no time limit on them and the card is not nominative, meaning it can be given to a friend,” said Ile-de-FRance Mobilites, who believe some 5.8 million people will be interested in using the Navigo Easy card.

The two cards therefor spell the end of the traditional tickets, which are sold at machines.

While some may be sad to see them go, Paris transport authority Ile-de-France Mobilités say they want to save on waste – some 550 million tickets are printed each year. Many, like cigarette butts, end up being tossed onto pavements around the capital.

But Paris transport users still have a little time to make the most of those pieces of card as they are only set to become finally extinct in 2021.



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Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

Car, moped, public transport, or electric bicycle - which means of transport is the quickest way to get across Paris?

Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

One intrepid reporter for French daily Le Parisien decided to find out. 

The challenge was simple. Which mode of transport would get the journalist from the heart of Fontenay-sous-Bois in the eastern suburbs to the newspaper’s office on Boulevard de Grenelle, west Paris, fastest?

Over four separate journeys, each one in the middle of rush hour, the electric bicycle was quickest and easiest. More expensive than conventional bikes, electric bikes do come with a government subsidy.

The journey was described as ‘pleasant and touristy’ on a dry but chilly morning going via dedicated cycle lanes that meant the dogged journalist avoided having to weave in and out of traffic.

It took, in total, 47 minutes from start to finish at an average speed of 19km/h, on a trip described as “comfortable” but with a caveat for bad weather. The cost was a few centimes for charging up the bike.

In comparison, a car journey between the same points took 1 hour 27 minutes – a journey not helped by a broken-down vehicle. Even accounting for that, according to the reporter’s traffic app, the journey should – going via part of the capital’s southern ringroad – have taken about 1 hr 12.

Average speed in the car was 15km/h, and it cost about €2.85 in diesel – plus parking.

A “chaotic and stressful” moped trip took 1 hour 3 minutes, and cost €1.30 in unleaded petrol.

Public transport – the RER and Metro combined via RER A to Charles-de-Gaulle-Étoile then Metro line 6 to the station Bir-Hakeim – took 50 minutes door to door, including a 10-minute walk and cost €2.80. The journey was described as “tiring”.

READ ALSO 6 ways to get around Paris without the Metro