As the caption says, in Paris it’s the end of a 120 year old era: the paper metro ticket.
Ile-de-France Mobilites, which operates the metro’s ticketing system, had wanted the pack of 10 tickets known as carnets to be gone by the first quarter of this year.
But then the Covid-19 pandemic erupted, and Russia’s war in Ukraine, and with it a global shortage of microchips needed to make the smartcards to replace the tickets — whose sales still total 550 million per year and use more than 50 tonnes of paper.
We were in a hurry, but the chip crisis slowed us down,” Laurent Probst, director-general at Ile-de-France Mobilites told AFP.
The operator has started cutting the number of metro stations that still sell carnets to nudge clients towards plastic cards, and many turnstiles can no longer read cardboard tickets.
As a result, the share of card tickets used on urban trips has dropped from more than two-thirds a year ago to well under half now. “Our customers are beginning to change their habits,” Probst said.
He said carnets would be gone completely sometime next year.