Public transport fares in the Île-de-France
Public transport fares in the Île-de-France are set using a system of concentric fare zones radiating from central Paris, and are implemented with a mixture of paper and electronic tickets. Prices are determined by the regional autorité organisatrice de transports ("Regional Transport Organisational Authority"), which for Île-de-France is the Syndicat des transports d'Île-de-France (STIF).
In 1900, a second-class Paris Métro ticket cost 15 centimes of the old franc, and a first-class ticket 25 centimes. In 1960, it cost 37 centimes of the new franc. Six hundred million Métro tickets were sold that year, an average of around 1,500 a minute.
- Tramway tickets issued by the Compagnie Est Parisien ("Eastern Paris Company") (before 1921)
- Métro tickets issued by the Compagnie du chemin de fer métropolitain de Paris (CMP) ("Paris Metropolitan Railway Company") (1900 – 1945)
- Carnet of bus tickets from the Société des transports en commun de la région parisienne (STRCP) ("Paris region public transport society") (1921 – 1948)
- First design of the Carte Orange (1975)
- MP 59 in 1964: first class in yellow and second class in blue
- MS 61 in 1982: First class section with yellow detailing
The zonal system
The fare zones were put in place after the ticket fare structure had been decided. These concentric zones, numbered 1 to 8 (until 1 July 2007), are centred on Paris, with zone 1, the most central, covering the commune of Paris, zone 2 surrounding it, and so on. Zone 8 is the most distant from the centre, and was only used in the south-east of the Île-de-France.
On 1 July 2007 the zones were reduced to six, with zones 7 and 8 being absorbed into zone 6. At its board meeting of 8 December 2010, the STIF voted to remove Zone 6, absorbing it into zone 5 from 1 July 2011.
Towards a flat fare
The reduction in the number of fare zones is a preamble to a potential flat rate fare from June 2012, a manifesto commitment following negoitations between the Socialists and Green parties during the 2010 regional elections. However, a fare of €65, announced by the Greens during their campaign, would have the STIF lose €550m, which cannot be done while continuing with necessary infrastructure investment. The STIF thus suggested possible fares of €79 or €89, which would balance the books.
But according to a study by the think-tank Mentras, published in January 2011, although 310,000 ticket-holders for zones 1-5 and 1-6 would see their travel costs reduce, a flat fare would harshly hit 1,249,000 season ticket holders in Paris and its inner suburbs, and even in the outer suburbs 162,000 would suffer, as well as others who use a two-zone ticket.
On 11 February 2015, the STIF voted the creation of the Navigo "all zones", available from 1 September 2015 for a price of €21.25 weekly, €70 monthly, €770 yearly. Navigo for zones 2-3, 3-4 and 4-5 will remain available at their current price. The fare structure of day passes (Mobilis, Paris visite, ticket jeunes) remains unchanged.
Inclusive tickets (daily, weekly and monthly) are valid for a given set of zones, and may be used on all modes of transport within them. For example, a passenger having a ticket for zones 2 to 4 can travel freely within those zones, but must purchase a separate ticket covering the portion of any journey that goes outside these zones, for example into zone 1 or zone 5. The extra ticket can be loaded onto the Navigo card as well. However, tickets valid for a month or longer can be used in any zone on weekends and public holidays without additional payment.
Paper tickets (with magnetic strips) must be validated by inserting them into a machine whereby a date and time is punched onto the strip. Some tickets have limited validity thereafter, so that a journey must be completed within a certain time after validation. Navigo passes are contactless smart cards and are validated by presenting them near to an RFID reader. Fines are issued for those travelling without a valid ticket.
According to the RATP, ticket demagnetisation affects 0.5% of tickets sold. Such tickets can be exchanged free of charge at a point of sale. Even with the small failure rate, this figure means at least 300,000 tickets are exchanged just by the RATP. To reduce this figure, the RATP has started issuing newer, stronger tickets with a better-protected magnetic strip, replacing the magnetic tape with iron bands. This ticket will come into general use by the end of 2011.
The STIF sells several kinds of ticket. Single tickets are intended for occasional passengers. Combination and season tickets are aimed at regular travellers and those touring the region, and can be bought for various periods of validity.
For occasional journeys, tickets for one journey may be purchased singly or, slightly more cheaply, in booklets ("carnets") of ten. The carnets of 10 are usually the best option for tourists as well. As one only takes the Metro 3-4 times a day, the combined price of carnet tickets at €1.41 per ticket is much lower than day passes (€12). They can also easily be used among groups as they are transferable.
The Ticket "t+" is the most basic ticket in the Île-de-France. It is a paper ticket that allows one journey on the Métro, the tramways, the bus network and services run by Optile, a conglomerate of suburban bus operators. As of January 2015 it costs €1.80 or in a carnet of 10 for €14.10, with children and other entitled users paying half-price for a carnet and can be used on several modes of transport, with one or more surface interchanges. The time from the first validation of the ticket to the last must not exceed 90 minutes. However, it cannot be used to interchange between a Métro or RER line and the bus or tramway, nor between a Métro line and the Montmartre funicular.
The billet Île-de-France ("Île-de-France ticket"), sometimes called the billet RER, is a paper ticket that allows for a point-to-point journey between two stations in the Île-de-France region served by either suburban Transilien or RER trains. The fare depends on the distance travelled. It can be used in either direction between origin and destination, and allows the use of the Noctilien night bus network run by Transilien SNCF. The fare depends on the origin, destination and route and there are two fares: full fare or reduced fare. One can buy a single ticket or a carnet of ten, at a reduction of 20% on the single ticket price. There is no limit to how far in advance a ticket can be purchased before being validated, but once validated they are valid for 2 hours only.
Combination and season tickets
The Carte orange is the most-used ticket in the Île-de-France. It is a season ticket valid either for a week or a month. Weekly tickets are valid from Mondays to Sundays. They are sold from the Thursday on the week before. Monthly tickets are valid from the first to the last day of the calendar month. They are sold from the 20th day of the previous month. For a journey to be valid the ticket must include all zones from the origin to the destination, including all zones passed through (even if no interchange is made there). The ticket can be used for any number of journeys on any form of public transport in the region. It is available via two media: the Navigo pass and the Navigo discovery pass. The old magnetic tickets ceased to be sold after 1 February 2009.
La Carte Intégrale is a yearly (renewable) season ticket. For year-round travellers, it provides a saving of about 2 months compared to the monthly Carte orange. Once the ticket is purchased at an RATP or SNCF office, it is valid as long as the purchaser renews it each month. The ticket comes with an "Advantage card" which allows discounts at major retailers. The ticket is only available on a Navigo pass. During 2011 the Carte Intégrale will change its name to the "Yearly Navigo" (French: forfait Navigo annuel).
The Carte Imagine'R is a ticket for students between 12 and 25 years of age. Valid for a year, it can be used on all modes of public transport in the region. Mondays to Fridays it can be used only in the zones assigned to the ticket, but at weekends and during public and school holidays the zones are relaxed and it can be used throughout the region. It also acts as a discount card in many large retailers and at other attractions.
Mobilis is an all-day ticket comprising a number of zones (1–2, 1–3, 1–4 and 1–5) with unlimited travel within them. It does not allow travel to Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport or Paris-Orly Airport, for which a Paris Visite ticket or a separate airport ticket is required (Charles de Gaulle Airport is in zone 5). The Mobilis ticket is issued as a paper ticket indicating the zones for which it is valid. It is not transferable, and to validate them passengers must write their full names on the tickets before using them, together with the date.
The Ticket Jeunes ("Young Persons Ticket") is an all-day discount ticket for those under 26 years of age. It can be used only on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, within the zones indicated on the ticket: 1–3, 1–5, or 3–5. It allows unlimited travel within the ticketed zones, on the bus, Métro, tramway, RER and main-line train, except for the Orlyval, Orlybus, Jetbus, Roissybus and access to Charles de Gaulle Airport via RER B, Allobus, routes operated by Air France, tourist buses and the Voguéo. Tickets including zone 1 can be used throughout the Métro, even those parts outside zone 1.
It is issued as a paper ticket with a magnetic stripe, on which must be written the passenger's full name and the date of use. It is about half the price of a Mobilis ticket covering the same area.
The Paris Visite is an all-day ticket with four periods of validity: one two, three or five consecutive days. It allows unlimited travel within the chosen zones (1–3 or 1–5) on all modes of transport – except the Jetbus network, the Filéo at Charles de Gaulle Airport, tourist buses, and Air France services – and allows travel to Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports.
The traveller's name and the date(s) of validity must be written on the ticket before use. This replaces the separate credit-card sized "name card" which was previously issued with the ticket. Amongst other things it offers discounts at some museums and monuments in the Île-de-France. It is aimed particularly at tourists — but in many cases, Mobilis is cheaper.
Specialized tickets and discount cards
Carte Solidarité Transport
The Carte Solidarité Transport is a discount card for those in great need, those on sickness benefits, those on unemployment benefits, single parents, and those earning the Revenu minimum d'insertion (RMI, a minimum earnings guarantee). It provides a discount of 50% on single tickets and 75% on monthly and weekly Carte orange tickets. The carte has a validity of one year and is intended for those in receipt of benefits. It is only available on demand, and exclusively by telephone (on a free call) through the Solidarité Transport agency.
Moreover, residents receiving Revenu de solidarité active (RSA, a form of social welfare) can use all of the road and rail network for free (except the Orlyval). Since 1 December 2008 this has also applied to those receiving the Allocation spécifique de solidarité, another benefit. Beneficiaries of RMI must renew their pass every three months, and the credits are automatically assigned to a Navigo pass or at a charging station.
Since 1 January 2015, the fares for ticket t+ are:
- Ticket "t+": sold individually, €1.80
- Sold on board buses: €2.00
- Carnet of 10 tickets: €14.10 — carnets can be purchased for half-price by children under 10 as well as various groups such as the disabled, war veterans, and large school groups.
"Origin - Destination" tickets (those priced according to distance travelled), sold both singly and in carnets, vary depending on distance travelled.
Navigo tickets increased in price depending on the zones included. Fares for zone 5 were unchanged. For example, the monthly price for a Navigo pass for zones 1 and 2 increased from €62.00 to €70.00, an increase of 12.9% — although the fares had remained unchanged since 2011.
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- "Carte Intégrale, abonnement carte intégrale, tarifs et zones carte intégrale" (in French, Spanish, and English). Transilien. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
Note: The website automatically detects the browser language. Some information is not available in the English version.
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- Île-de-France Institute of Town and City Planning: Eléments de réflexion (December 2006):
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