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Paris makes travel free for kids and disabled youth

Children will be allowed to travel free on Paris public transport from September 1 this year, the capital’s Mairie has confirmed, in measures that will also help young disabled people and secondary students.

The four new measures announced are:

  • Free Navigo pass (public transport travel pass) for children aged 4-11
  • Free Navigo pass for disabled Paris residents aged 20 years and under
  • Partial or total reimbursement of the Navigo pass for secondary school students
  • Inclusion of a Velib’ subscription (the to-hire push bike scheme) for 14-18 year-olds with an Imagin’R (student pass) or Navigo pass

The measures are expected to cost the capital €5 million in 2019, and €15 million per full calendar year.

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo said she decided to adopt the measures after reading a government report submitted to her office on “ecological transition and buying power”.

The 100-page report, named “Pour un Big Bang de la Tarification des Transports dans le Grand Paris (For A Big Bang/Shake Up of in the Pricing of Transport in Greater Paris)”, and co-created by deputy mayor Emmanuel Grégoire, suggests 23 measures to improve public transport in the city.

It reads: “While the objective is to reduce the role of individual cars, [studies show] that totally free transport is not an efficient solution.”

Ms Hidalgo said: “This report suggests a reasonable and responsible way to make public transport accessible to everyone. [These measures] will support the ecological transition, all the while strengthening the buying power of Parisian families.”

The city is aiming to pay for the new measures through a reshuffle of its budget, and, in 2020, by using revenue from street advertising.

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