Paris begins phasing out paper ‘carnets’ of Metro tickets

A commuter goes through a ticket gate at the Gare du Nord station. Paris is set to abolish packs of 10 physical metro tickets.
Paris is set to abolish packs of 10 physical metro tickets. Photo: Philippe LOPEZ / AFP.
Buying a 'carnet' of paper Metro tickets - a rite of passage for many users of the capital's public transport system - is coming to an end as the city moves to more paperless tickets.

As well as buying a single one of the small cardboard Metro tickets, users can also save money by buying 10 or 20 tickets at a time – known as a carnet – which work out cheaper per ticket.

But public transport operator Île de France Mobilités has announced that it will be phasing out the purchase of carnets in three stages.

  • From October 14th 2021, packs of 10 tickets are no longer sold at ticket machines in around 100 stations.
  • From January 2022, the ticket books will stop being sold in 176 additional stations.
  • From March 2022, packs of 10 will no longer be sold at any ticket machines or ticket counters on the RATP network.

You can see which stations will be affected in each of the three stages using RATP’s interactive metro map here.

It’s part of an overall plan to make the city’s public transport system largely paperless and moving people towards phone apps and top-up cards to buy their Metro, bus, RER and tram tickets.

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It is still possible to buy paper tickets for single journeys.

Users will still be able to purchase virtual carnets – 10 or 20 tickets at a time at a reduced price – using the Navigo Easy pass, which costs €2 and can be topped up at ticket machines or counters and via smartphone.

Tickets can also be bought either singly or in a carnet using the phone apps Île-de-France Mobilités, Bonjour RATP and SNCF Assistant.

If you are a more frequent user of public transport in Paris but don’t want to commit to an unlimited monthly pass, there is the Navigo Liberté + pass, which debits you for your total journeys at the end of each month.

It is also possible to purchase single bus tickets for €2 via text message.

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1 in 10 tickets goes wasted

City authorities in Paris are pushing greener transport alternatives such as cycling, and have created several coronapistes (corona-cycle lanes) as the pandemic drives people to try and avoid crowded public transport as much as possible.

As well as environmental problems and littering, the cardboard tickets also frequently become demagnetised meaning that they cannot be used at automatic barriers.

Every year, nearly 5 million tickets are demagnetized because they are placed near keys or coins, according to RATP, and 10 percent of tickets from packs of ten are not used because they are lost, damaged or forgotten.

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