Geoffrey Branger, edited by Romain Rouillard
To support the purchasing power of the French, several cities in France have decided to reduce the price of public transport, or even to make it completely free. Solutions that are sometimes complicated to put in place, but which make it possible to relieve the wallet of the inhabitants.
Calais, Niort, Dunkirk or Morlaix… All these towns have one thing in common: transport is free. A costly, but necessary measure for Jean-Paul Vermot, president of the Brittany urban community: “It’s 650,000 euros per year, covered by the community budget. And this budget is a part of our common wealth on the territory, it was a unanimous political will of all the elected officials to have this universal service of free mobility”.
Rather than being completely free, which is sometimes difficult to implement, other cities are opting for reduced prices. This is the case of La Rochelle, in Charente-Maritime, where, from September, schoolchildren and students pay much less for transport. “The rate for students was 230 euros per year and therefore we made the choice of the passerby at 100 euros, that’s 10 euros per month to have access to all the transport offers in the agglomeration”, confirms Bertrand Ayral, vice-president of the urban community.
A dual objective
As a result, students and parents benefit from an immediate gain in purchasing power. Other cities, such as Grand Avignon, are lowering prices to attract more people to public transport. The objective sought is twofold: to limit road traffic, but also, and above all, to help the inhabitants to cope with the increase in fuel prices. In this agglomeration, prices have been almost halved for all audiences.