Paris takes a first step towards free transport

As early as last November, Anne Hidalgo had assured The gallery : "My belief is that there will be forms of free." On January 10, 2019, the mayor (PS) announced free public transport for Parisians aged 4 to 11 and for disabled people under 20 years of age, the reimbursement of 50% of the Navigo Pass for high school students, and the Free Vélib 'subscription for teenagers aged 14 to 18 from 1 September 2019. They are in addition to the free Navigo pass for disabled adults and Parisian seniors subject to the conditions in force since June 2018 .

These four new measures will be financed by "redeployments" 5 million euros in 2019 (one quarter) and 15 million euros in the following years. The city plans to "self-finance" thanks to the revenues of the new information street furniture market (municipal billboards and advertising, editor's note).

Two other proposals awaiting state validation

"With these measures, we are betting on youth to accelerate the energy transition," said Anne Hidalgo. "We are also strengthening the purchasing power of Paris families, which I want them to live and thrive in Paris. "

Among the other proposals of his three deputies is also the full reimbursement of the Navigo Pass for employees earning less than 1.5 smic as well as for single-parent families. "This provision is state-owned and requires financing by companies," says Emmanuel Grégoire, first deputy (PS) at Finance. "We hope it will feature in the next mobility law. "

"Demagogy and inefficiency" according to the Republicans

The Medef Paris was quick to react, recalling that companies contribute to 41% of the funding of public transport in the Paris region and that they are "taxed" up to 3,000 euros per employee and per year, to finance the local authorities and the organizing authority. Its president Jean-Louis Schilansky prefers to put them back "At the heart of the project. They have the solutions: technological innovations, new business models and investment capacity ".

In the political opposition, Republicans denounce actions "As demagogic as inefficient in application five months with municipal elections" and deconstruct two of them: "Children from 4 to 11 years benefit from a half-price, and Parisian high school students already benefit from a 50% reduction thanks to the help of the region". According to their calculations, the free for under 12 years will cost even 51 million euros. They recommend, on the contrary, free Vélib 'for all Parisians.

Towards a metropolis second class transport authority?

The report submitted to the mayor of Paris, first vice-president of the metropolis of Greater Paris (MGP), also proposes to set up a single window for financial assistance for mobility introduced by the various communities across the country. the MGP. This is why Anne Hidalgo pleads for the metropolis as second authority after the region in terms of transport. His rival Valérie Pécresse nevertheless refused to give up an inch of his power.

Among the other ideas, one would be to create a platform open to different territories to organize the implementation of mobility packages integrating public services and private services. Another would be to reserve the left lane of the Paris ring road for vehicles carrying at least two people by 2024 at the latest. The municipality is already aware that some of these tracks will be brought into public debate.

IDFM (ex-STIF) refuses to be "the cash drawer"

The president (LR) of Île-de-France Mobilités (former STIF) and boss of the regional council, Valérie Pécresse, has not yet reacted directly. On the other hand, his relatives Parisian, than "The free, it is paid". Paris "Will have to make up for the euro," they warned, adding that IDFM was not "Not a cash drawer".

In reference to the former socialist and ecologist management of the region, this same entourage also qualifies "The need for considerable modernization on a dilapidated network, a legacy of Mrs. Hidalgo and the leftist majority who managed the transport for ten years".

Last October, the eight experts mandated by the Regional Council, which had also commissioned a study on free rides, had also concluded a small decrease in circulation (of about 2%) that would have been accompanied by even greater saturation of public transport. Not to mention the shortfall of 3.3 billion euros in ticketing. It is more or less what the authors of the Paris report write: "Total free access would cost the community a marginal impact on the environment, at the cost of increased tension on the public transit system."