Paris has just taken a major step in the push to become a green and inclusive city.
From September 2020, all young people under the age of 18 that hold a local student travel card—the Imagine R—will be able to travel on the city’s public transport for free.
The card covers buses, trams, metro and overland trains across all zones of the Paris Île-de-France region, and normally costs families €350 a year.
But lawmakers at the Council of Paris recently agreed to fully refund the cost to all families once the school year restarts in September.
“The decision complements previous measures on free transport for the over 65s, and last year for primary school children,” David Belliard, the council’s transport representative, told Le Monde. “[It will] transform our mobility model, making the city of Paris a more sober, resilient and supportive city.”
La gratuité des transports à Paris pour les jeunes de moins de 18 ans, ce sera effectif des la rentrée prochaine ! une aide substantielle pour les familles. Toutes les infos sont ici @lemouv ⤵️https://t.co/ncDhmnUcZ7
— David Belliard (@David_Belliard) July 25, 2020
The move received unanimous support in the chamber and will affect an estimated 135,000 young people, for a cost of 10 million euros.
In September 2019 the city council had made the Imagine R Junior card free for primary school students up to 11 years of age, saving families €24 a year. Travel is also free for young Parisians under the age of 20 with a disability.
In addition, Belliard recently told Challenge magazine about his vision for a “100% cyclable” city, in which “useless cars” and individual car journeys could be replaced by travel by bike or public transport. This will begin with a push to make the 50km of temporary cycle lanes setup in Paris during the coronavirus lockdown — dubbed “coronapistes” — permanent from the summer onwards.
Speaking about the new travel rules during the council meeting, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, the first woman to hold the position, said the decision was a “strong commitment that we are making towards young people and towards [their] purchasing power.”