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After 118 years, Paris to bid ‘au revoir’ to its Metro tickets

PARIS (Reuters) – They’ve been in use since 1900, when the Paris Metro opened for enterprise, however quickly town’s acquainted rectangular tickets will change into a factor of the previous, changed by a totally automated system comparable to the one in London.

An elevated Paris Metro passes over a bridge subsequent to the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France June 15, 2017. Photo taken 15, 2017. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

For many vacationers, the little white tickets — typically bought in a ‘carnet’ of 10 — are inseparable from a go to to town. They’re often discovered years later tucked between the pages of a e book, at the back of pockets or below a settee.

FILE PHOTO: A Metro signal is seen at Reaumur Sebastopol station in Paris, France, January 25, 2016. The entrance to this metro was designed by Frenchmen Hector Guimard within the ‘Art Nouveau’ (New Art) model. Picture taken January 25, 2016. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo

But they’re additionally simple to lose, typically find yourself littering the pavements, the place they take up to a 12 months to decompose, and the magnetic strip on the again tends to fail over time, that means the tickets, 550 million of that are bought annually, don’t work.

As a outcome Ile-de-France Mobilites (IDFM), the group that coordinates the transport networks in Paris and its surrounding area, voted on Wednesday to transfer forward with the method of automating the system by 2021.

“We’re going to gradually phase out the use of the metro ticket,” stated Valerie Pecresse, president of the IDFM and head of the area that features Paris.

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While many commuters already use a weekly, month-to-month or annual digital card referred to as the Navigo to get round, comparable to London’s Oyster card, IDFM is introducing two extra choices designed to enchantment to vacationers and occasional vacationers.

The metro is the 10th busiest subway system on this planet, dealing with round 1.5 billion passengers a 12 months. But when it comes to know-how, it lags behind the likes of London and Tokyo, and the little tickets are one of many essential issues.

“Five percent of metro tickets get demagnetized and stop working, frustrating customers,” stated IDFM spokesman Sebastien Mabille. “The new passes will effectively solve this problem.”

The new passes shall be launched in April and October subsequent 12 months, permitting loads of time for the metro, and its interconnected bus and commuter rail community, to change into absolutely digital earlier than the Paris Olympics in 2024.

Editing by Luke Baker and Gareth Jones

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