French tabacs to sell train tickets

Tobacconists in four regions will trial a ticket scheme, SNCF's outgoing president says

Tobacconists in four French regions will sell rail tickets as part of a trial from next month, the rail operator's president has revealed.

Guillaume Pépy, who is to step down from his role in December unveiled the plan in an interview with Journal du Dimanche. He had already suggested that tobacconists could sell TER tickets.

"There are a lot of tobacco shops, we are selling less and less cigarettes, we could sell something else, and TER tickets are a really good idea," he had said on RMC and BFMTV, back in February.

The tabac scheme was one of several plans he discussed during the interview. Others included the new 'advantage' travel cards, which are cheaper and offer more benefits than previous SNCF cards.

He also said that, July 1, calls to the ticket purchasing number 3635 will be charged at local rather than premium rates. Open between 7am and 10pm, it allows users to buy tickets which are delivered by post.

At the end of November, SNCF plans to launch a new loyalty programme called "Ouigreen". "Kilometres travelled by train will entitle you to free hours' use of a scooter or electric car," Mr Pépy explained.

SNCF is working with Renault to develop "a car-sharing solution for electric cars in stations", he said.

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