Hidalgo abandons plans for free public transport in Paris
The plans of Paris’ Mayor, Anne Hidalgo, to make public transport in the city of Paris and its suburbs free, are abandoned after a study showing that the costs would be too high and the effect on people switching from the car to public transport only marginal. For children up to 11 years old though, public transport will be free next school year, starting in September.
Hidalgo had launched the idea in March 2018, hoping that making public transport free would decrease traffic congestion and air pollution in the city. To analyze the feasibility of the idea, studies were ordered. Conclusions were clear, though: making public transport free would not contribute to sustainable mobility in the larger Paris region, Île-de-France.
On top of that, it would cost society a huge amount of money and would only have a marginal impact on the environment. Besides, making transport free is not enough to change people’s behaviour. Car traffic would hardly go down with 2 to 5%, according to the simulations made for the study.
Another side affect would be that a lot of cyclists and pedestrians would suddenly switch to public transport, making it even more saturated, especially in the Paris subway in the morning. It would be necessary to invest in the network first.
Conclusion? The plans are abandoned. Only the Navigo Pass, making public transport free for children younger than four will stay valid. The pass even will be extended to children up to eleven years old, as from September. Young disabled people will be allowed the same privileges as well, and young students can get a 50% reduction. Total cost: 15 million euro.