The Death of the Paris Metro Ticket

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The Death of the Paris Metro Ticket
I would take a bet that anyone who has visited Paris anytime after 2007 will be able to find lurking — perhaps in an old suitcase, a coat pocket, inside a wallet, or between the pages of a book — a white Paris metro ticket. These iconic cardboard tickets measuring a mere 6.5cm x 3cm are used by 1.6 billion metro users each year. (Before 2007, the colors changed from brown, mauve, yellow and green.) Tickets can be purchased in a “carnet,” a booklet of 10 tickets at a reduced price (16,90 € or a single ticket for 1,90 €). Nevertheless, 500 million single-use tickets are still purchased every year. These tickets are valid not only on the metro but also on buses, trams and the RER in zone one. The tickets’ strip can easily be demagnetized by proximity to keys, coins or mobile phones, but can be exchanged free of charge by staff in the metro ticket booth. Paris Metro Ticket Machine, Creative Commons Why so many metro ticket souvenirs? On a commute, a metro ticket was an obvious choice as a bookmark, perhaps before mobile phones took the place of books. They were also a tool in flirtations; their handy size perfect for writing a phone number on. Some metro riders, more dexterous, made tiny frogs out of them. But soon these tickets will be phased out, with vending machines in some 180 stations slated to stop selling carnets of cardboard t+ tickets in mid-October 2022. Throughout 2023, there will be a gradual end of the sale of carnets at all vending machines and ticket offices in the RATP network. Marilyn Brouwer’s preciously guarded metro ticket with holes punched The argument for discontinuing their use is environmental: The use of paper cardboard and also the pollution caused by old tickets being dropped on the ground. Many tickets are simply lost or discarded after use, and apparently it takes a year for a metro ticket to decompose. The solution, not always so lauded, is plastic, in the form of the reusable Navigo cards. (In an ironical twist, the paper metro ticket won an unexpected six-month reprieve because of the global shortage of electronic chips used in the replacement Navigo cards.) Navigo Découverte Card, Wikimedia Commons

Lead photo credit : Paris Metro Ticket, Creative Commons

More in Metro ticket Paris, Navigo Pass, Paris Metro Ticket

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After some dreary years in the Civil Service, Marilyn realized her dream of living in Paris. She arrived in Paris in December 1967 and left in July 1969. From there she lived in Mallorca, London, Oman, and Dubai, where she moved with her husband and young son and worked for Gulf News, Khaleej Times and freelanced for Emirates Woman magazine. During this time she was also a ground stewardess for Middle East Airlines. For the past 18 years they've lived on the Isle of Wight.


  • Hazel Smith
    2022-10-03 07:41:04
    Hazel Smith
    Ironically, I just bought 60 T+ tickets mere hours ago for my late October trip. Thanks Marilyn.


      2022-10-04 10:06:52
      I have just choked with envy on your 60 metro tickets Hazel. I shall be in Spain but next time we must meet up in Paris whatever tickets we will be using. Have a wonderful trip. Kind regards.