Students Under 18 Ride for Free on Paris Buses and Trains
"Starting this month, Parisians under the age of 18 can travel on the city’s public transit network free of charge," report Feargus O'Sullivan and David Dudley.
The free transit rides are timed to coincide with the beginning of the school year in Paris, according to the article, and represent another step toward an initiative in the city to make it easier and cheaper to access transit.
These steps started in June 2018, when transit authority RATP made city travel free for those 65 and up, bringing France’s capital into line with other countries, such as the U.K., that grant free transit access to older people. In September 2019, children under 11 and all minors with disabilities were granted free travel, and middle- and high-school-aged children were given a 75% discount. This year, these changes have also rippled out into the suburbs. On Sept. 1, the larger Île-de-France region that covers Greater Paris also introduced an almost-free annual pass for children between 4 and 11 years old, costing just 24 euros a year.
The article also discusses the possibility that Mayor Anne Hidalgo could eventually expand this effort to make transit free for all users in the city. The debate takes place in context of declining transit ridership during the pandemic, and the revenue effects of that decline on the city's transit systems.