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France to freeze ticket prices on some rail services in 2024

The Local France
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France to freeze ticket prices on some rail services in 2024
A OUIGO TGV train in Paris. (Photo by Thomas SAMSON / AFP)

The price of tickets on two major parts of the French rail network will not increase next year, the transport minister has announced.

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In an interview with Franceinfo, France's transport minister discussed his agenda for 2024, announcing that the government would freeze ticket prices.

Clément Beaune, announced on Thursday that train ticket prices for Intercités (classic, non-high speed lines connecting cities) and Ouigo (the low-cost high speed rail service) would not increase in price next year.

That opens the way for ticket prices to rise on TGV routes and the local TER trains. 

"The train must remain affordable and popular, and the price shield must be more targeted," Beaune told Franceinfo in an interview on Thursday.

Beaune noted that the Intercités service was chosen because it has "been neglected, even though it is used by 12 million French people". As for the Ouigo trains, Beaune said that freezing prices will help "young people and those on lower incomes".

France's high-speed TGV rail network has two types of trains - InOui and OuiGo. The routes are the same but OuiGo services have cheaper tickets and fewer onboard facilities. 

READ MORE: How much more expensive will life in France be in 2024?

Other transport plans for 2024

In the interview, the transport minister also laid out other parts of his transport agenda for 2024. 

French €49 ticket - He repeated his interest in creating France's version of the German €49-a-month train ticket. This would allow users to have unlimited use of TER and Intercités trains, and would be similarly priced to the German plan.

Beaune said this would be created "by the summer of 2024".

Night trains - The minister noted that "ticket sales are good" for the relaunch of the night train between Berlin and Paris, which will begin running on Monday, December 11th.

France will also open another night train line this winter - Paris-Aurillac - which runs from the capital to the Auvergne region. Seven other night train lines already exist in France, including the popular Paris-Briançon (in the Alps) and Paris-Nice routes.

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In accordance with former Prime Minister Jean Castex's plan, the country is still working toward a goal of running 10 night train services.

Speed limits - Beaune said that the French government would not validate the city of Paris' plans to reduce the speed limit on the city's ring road to 50km/h, in an attempt to decrease pollution. Currently, the speed limit is set to 70km/h.

"If you add a reserved lane (for athletes and Olympics organisers) and a 50km/h speed limit at the same time, you will drive people crazy," the minister said.

Surveillance devices will be used on the 'reserved lanes' to ensure that they are used by the correct parties during the Olympic Games. Afterwards, the city aims to make it a carpooling lane.

Transport during the Olympics - Beaune said there would be meeting between the government and the City of Paris on December 19th to discuss public transport during the Olympic Games.

READ MORE: Should I avoid France during the Olympics?

Recently, the city's mayor Anne Hidalgo warned that transport "would not be ready" in time. 

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The minister also defended plans to increase public transport ticket prices during the Olympics, noting that monthly and annual passes would not change in price and residents would be able to buy single-use tickets in advance.

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