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Paris Now Has a New Métro Card

By Katherine LaGrave

06.12.19

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Paris is known for its art nouveau Métro stations, like the one pictured here.

Photo by EQRoy/Shutterstock

Paris is known for its art nouveau Métro stations, like the one pictured here.

The city’s signature paper Métro tickets are gradually being phased out.

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Say so long—er, au revoir—to Paris’s signature Métro paper tickets, which have been used on the city’s transit system for close to 120 years. On Tuesday, the city launched “Navigo Easy,” a rechargeable plastic travel pass.

In large part, the old paper tickets are being phased out because they’re outdated. Valérie Pécresse, the head of public transport for Paris and its wider region, pointed out that the magnetic strip on the rectangular paper ticket is often demagnetized and rendered unusable. The city also prints some 550 million paper tickets a year, and it takes a toll on the environment: “A ticket thrown on the ground takes a year to decompose,” said Pécresse, according to Radio France Internationale. “We have been late when it comes [to adopting sustainable options] to the ticketing system.”

The reusable “Navigo Easy” costs €2 (US$2.26) initially, and fares will remain the same price: €1.90 (US$2.15) for a single trip and €14.90 (US$16.83) for 10 trips. Users can add value to the pass and use it at any gate in the Paris Métro or bus system; eventually, authorities say they hope to incorporate it to work with all of the Île-de-France’s public transport network. (Île-de-France is the region that surrounds and includes Paris; Versailles and Disneyland Paris are also within its reaches.) 

One of the biggest advantages of the “Navigo Easy” system is that it can be used for more than one trip: Just add value, use, repeat. (It can also be used by more than one person.) In September 2019, visitors to the City of Light will even be able to add value to their “Navigo Easy” via their smartphone—if it’s the latest-generation Samsung smartphone, that is (no word yet has been given on when the system will become compatible with the iPhone).

Since opening in 1900 during the World’s Fair, the Paris Métro has become one of the busiest subway systems in the world. It’s also one of the densest: Nowhere in Paris is more than 500 meters (1,640 feet) from a station, according to the Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens, which is the city’s Métro operator.

If for some reason you want one last Parisian ticket as a keepsake, rest easy: The city is gradually phasing out the single-use paper passes, and they won’t be completely discontinued until summer of 2020.

>> Next: Plan Your Trip With AFAR’s Guide to Paris

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