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(Credit: Andrea Maschio)

Paris set to make public transport free for children


Paris is set to make all transport free for children under the age of 11 in a pioneering new venture.

The new scheme is set to be rolled out in September 2019 and will see free metro and bus travel for people under 11 across the greater Paris region which will stretch to non French nationals.

Furthermore, the new initiative will include free travel for people with disabilities under the age of 20 as well as a 50% discount for all high school students between the ages of 14 and 18.

The scheme, which has been detailed by Le Parisien, will cost in excess of €15 million (£13m) per year which will be taken out of the pre-aligned €10.1 billion (£8.8b) annual transport system budget.

Having already announced plans to introduce free annual travel passes for low-to-medium income French citizens with disabilities, and the elderly, the move is an attempt to make public transport more accessible to Parisians as general expenses continue to rise.

According to Wojciech Keblowshi of the Free University Brussels, the introduction of free transport comes with exceptional social improvements: “Use among vulnerable groups – the unemployed, the elderly and youths who do not have a middle-class income – increased dramatically when fares are abolished,” he explained in an interview with The Irish Times.”The city becomes much more available to them. They can look for jobs and take advantage of cultural activities and institutions. That argument is especially present in the French context,” he added.

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