A “rail pass” to take “everyday trains” at an affordable price? Officially mentioned at the end of June by the Minister Delegate in charge of Transport, Clément Beaune, the idea was relaunched on Monday by the Head of State, during an interview with “HugoDécrypte”. Its outlines were clarified this Thursday morning by the member of the government.
"I have been working for several months on this proposal", recalled Clément Beaune on Franceinfo, insisting that it was necessary "to do it with the regions which, in France, are responsible for regional trains (TER, editor's note)". Asked in the Télématin program, he explained that this device would be “something very simple, open to all, allowing unlimited travel”, thought “to promote the use of the train”.
“The heart” of the project will concern “regional express trains (TER) and Intercités”, he explained, like “what the Germans do” with the “Deutschlandticket”, this increases to 49 euros , but also “other European countries”. This must be “a collective work” specified the minister, conceding that it still needs to be “discussed with the regions”. The very ones who already offer “very attractive offers, sometimes more attractive than what is done in Germany”. Offers that Clément Beaune described as “formidable” but “scattered”, which according to him should be rethought “together [...], at the national level”. “It is not a question of taking something away from someone or of withdrawing these attractive offers but of doing better together,” he continued, pleading for this rail pass to be “accessible to all French people.” whatever their age for a single, inexpensive price.
The idea is in fact to have “a single rate” whose amount must still be “discussed” but whose “order of magnitude” will have to revolve around the German rate of the “Deutschlandticket” at 49 euros per month, a- he announced. Before adding: “It doesn’t have to be expensive, it has to be around what the Germans did.”
And to finance this project, Clément Beaune assures that “the State will put its hand in its pocket”. “It is indeed a discussion that must be had,” he said, brushing aside the criticism of those who think that this idea will be financed by local authorities. And getting carried away: “Could it be that from time to time in this country, we could say that “it’s a good idea altogether” and say to ourselves that we are no less good than the Germans and that 'we're going to do things together?
The minister hopes that this pass could be “available from next summer” initially for unlimited circulation on the TER and Intercités. And in a second time, “if possible with buses, metros and trams” in “large French cities”. To achieve this, he therefore invites the regions to sit around the table “from the month of September”. “I have already launched this discussion with each regional president” and we must now have this discussion “with the presidents of metropolitan areas and the mayors of large cities,” he concluded.