Paris’ Metro passengers can now buy tickets and Navigo passes on their smartphones

From Wednesday, users of the Paris Metro will for the first time be able to buy tickets and validate them using their smartphones (if they have the right kind). The move marks the beginning of the end for traditional Paris Metro ticket.

Paris' Metro passengers can now buy tickets and Navigo passes on their smartphones
Photo: The Local France

If you have used the Metro in Paris you will know how long queues to buy tickets or update your monthly Navigo pass can be.

Authorities in the greater Paris region of Ile-de-France plan on making these long waits disappear once and for all, starting from Wednesday, when for the first time passengers will be able to use their mobile phones to buy tickets and pass through the barriers.

''We are taking a step forward,'' declared Valérie Pécresse, president of Ile-de-France Mobilités, the authority that manages public transport in Paris and the surrounding suburbs. 

''Soon enough, waiting in line to recharge your Navigo pass or buy tickets will only be a bad memory,” she said  adding that paper Metro tickets will soon disappear to help “facilitate the daily life of travellers”.

From this Wednesday on, commuters can buy and validate tickets, monthly Navigo subscriptions, as well as OrlyBus and RoissyBus tickets to go to Paris's two airports via the dedicated smartphone application, ViaNavigo. The app is also available in English.


Once in the bus or Metro station, you will only have to place your smartphone on the machine validating tickets to pass the barriers and access platforms.

This technology will even work on flat battery, as shortwaves will still be detected.

For traditionalists who don't want to go paperless and prefer to keep their physical Navigo pass, the ViaNavigo app also allows you to recharge it through your smartphone.

Just like the machines in Metro stations, once your subscription is paid, you will only have to place your pass on your phone to recharge it for your next week or month of commuting.

But before you get excited not all mobile phone users can make the most of the new technology.

The new service is only available to recent Samsung phone owners, or Orange and Sosh subscribers, which makes up around 3 of the 4.5 million daily Metro users.  

READ ALSO: Ten things to know about Paris Metro tickets before they go

Samsung users will be able to use the new app regardless of their providers, given their phone is recent enough to be compatible with the technology.

Orange and Sosh subscribers will have to own a SIM card equipped with NFC technology – Near Field Communication.

Apple refused to take part in the project for now, so iPhone users will have to grin and bear it for a while.

The Ile-de-France region aims at changing to a completely paperless system by summer 2020.

French Vocab

lancer – to launch

un(e) francilien(ne) – resident of Île-de-France 

valider – to validate/swipe or scan a ticket

un titre de transport – a travel ticket


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Striking workers block Paris airport terminal, flights delayed

Striking airport workers have blocked part Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport, with some flights already delayed by at least one hour.

Striking workers block Paris airport terminal, flights delayed
Striking airport workers outside Charles-de-Gaulle airport in Paris. Photo: Geoffroy van der Hasselt | AFP

Last month, trade unions representing workers at the Aéroports de Paris (ADP) – the city’s Charles-de-Gaulle-Roissy and Orly airports – called for a strike between July 1st and July 5th in an ongoing dispute between French airport workers and bosses over contract renegotiations.

A second wave of protests are expected next week, after a strike notice was filed for July 9th.

Tensions mounted on Friday morning as some 400 protesters staged a raucous demonstration at CDG’s terminal 2E, which mostly deals with flights outside the Schengen zone, as police officers looked on.

At Orly airport, meanwhile, some 250 people demonstrated “outside”, while a small group was inside.

The dispute is over a long-term plan by ADP to bring in new work contracts for employees at the airports, which unions say will lower pay, job losses and a reduction in rights and bonuses for employees.

The strike is being jointly called by the CGT, CFE-CGE, Unsa, CFDT and FO unions, who said in a joint press release that the proposals will “definitively remove more than a month’s salary from all employees and force them to accept geographical mobility that will generate additional commuting time”.

Unions say that staff face dismissal if they do not sign the new contracts.

ADP said on Wednesday that it expected ‘slight delays for some flights but no cancellations’ to services – but it urged travellers to follow its social media operations for real-time updates.

On Thursday, the first day of action, 30 percent of flights were delayed between 15 minutes and half-an-hour.

ADP’s CEO Augustin de Romanet had said on Tuesday that ‘everything would be done to ensure no flight is cancelled’. 

ADP reported a loss of €1.17 billion in 2020. 

Stressing that discussions are continuing over the proposed new contracts, the CEO called for “an effort of solidarity, with a red line: no forced layoffs.”