“At this price, it would be nice to have trains running”

From February 1, 2024, TER prices will increase in Hauts-de-France. From 1 to 4.5% depending on the traveler’s profile. An increase that “does not shock” the national federation of transport users’ associations, but which the left-wing opposition denounces.

The standing committee of the Hauts-de-France regional council voted on Thursday, November 30, 2023, to increase TER tickets. This increase will take effect on February 1, 2024.

This is the first time rates have increased since 2016.”Unfortunately, we have no choice. In seven years, we had inflation that rose to 17%. We managed to absorb part of it in our budget through savings, but we have reached the limit of our capabilities“, explains Christophe Coulon, vice-president of the Region responsible for mobility, transport infrastructure and ports.

The price of tickets for occasional travelers will therefore be increased by 4.5%. Subscriptions will increase by 3.6%. And student subscriptions of 1%, which represents an increase of 12 cents per month for example.

The increase is limited. We tried to do it in the most acceptable way possible, being pragmatic and based on each person’s capabilities.

Christophe Coulon, vice-president of the Hauts-de-France region responsible for mobility

The Hauts-de-France region covers 75% of the region’s rail costs. And it must, in particular, face an increase in toll and electricity prices. “The increase will allow us to have the means to pay our bills within the terms of the contract we have with SNCF“, explains Christophe Coulon.

Given that it has not increased for several years, it remains reasonable. It could have been worse“, reacts Gilles Laurent, president of the National Federation of Transport Users’ Associations (FNAUT) Hauts-de-France, who is not surprised by this increase.

It doesn’t shock us, but at this price it would be nice to have trains running.

Gilles Laurent, president of FNAUT Altos de França

Since the health crisis, the service has deteriorated significantly in Hauts-de-France: regular, even daily delays, equipment breakdowns, lack of human resources, etc. vandalism AND problems linked to flood damage in Pas-de-Calais. “What matters most to us, in addition to this increase, is that there is a very clear improvement in service at the stations.“, points out the vice-president of the Region.

SNCF indicated to the Region that the service should improve next year. “By January 1, 2024, you must have all the men and materials you committed to implementing in 2020“, explains Christophe Coulon. “I’m not assuming anything, I’m looking forward to it.

At a time of climate emergency, purchasing power crisis and rising prices, you are choosing to raise prices!“, lamented Héloïse Dhalluin, regional councilor of the PCF, member of the Republican and Ecological Left (GRE) group, during the deliberation on the increase in TER prices in the permanent committee, on Thursday.

We are depriving ourselves of an ambitious pricing policy, in line with social issues in a region where residents’ incomes are among the lowest, of a pricing policy in line with ecological issues and which could have helped to make us love the train.

Héloïse Dhalluin, regional councilor of the PCF, member of the GRE

If the Region guarantees that it wants to stabilize the new prices for as long as possible, it cannot promise that a new increase in TER ticket prices will not be voted on in 2025, 2026 or 2027.

On Thursday, during the standing committee, the extension of the “reduced price” regime and free transport tickets for small animals from January 1, 2024 were also voted on.

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