Transport minister Clément Beaune, interviewed on Sunday, said that ticket prices will rise in “early 2023”.
However he said he had asked the state-owned rail operator SNCF to work on a bouclier tarifaire (price shield) in order to keep the rises below inflation. Inflation in France is currently running at around seven percent.
Although details of the new fare structure are yet to be confirmed, Beaune told RTL that the price shield would mainly be applied to the high-speed TGV trains, with “those who need the train every day, those on low incomes and young people who use the budget OuiGo lines” protected from price rises.
SNCF boss Jean-Pierre Farandou said that the railway company anticipates an increase in its electricity bill of at least €1.6 billion in 2023.
“If we were to pass on this increase directly to the cost of the ticket, we would have to increase TGV tickets by 10 percent,” said Farandou at a Senate hearing in September. But he added: “Rest assured, we will not pass on 100 percent of the costs to customers.”
The French government has already imposed a price shield on utility bills, with gas prices frozen at 2021 levels and electricity price rises capped at four percent. This will change from the beginning of 2023, when utility companies will be able to raise prices by up to 15 percent – a monthly increase of around €20 for the average household.
A fuel rebate of 30 cents a litre has also benefited motorists filling up their cars with petrol or diesel, but French consumers have seen prices rise for food and other everyday items.