Paris begins contactless transit card rollout

Hand holding travel card
NO MORE CARDBOARD: Parisians can now use Navigo contactless transit cards to travel the city

The first of a new range of contactless transit cards and passes are now being made available in Paris, enabling bus, tram and metro users to begin replacing cardboard tickets with contactless alternatives. An NFC-based Smart Navigo option will go online in September, “at the beginning of the school year”.

“When I arrived as the head of Île-de-France Mobilities in 2016, I initiated a vast programme to modernise ticketing to make life easier for Parisians and help preserve the environment (a ticket on the ground takes a year to break down),” says Valérie Pécresse, president of Île-de-France Mobilités, the greater Paris regional transportation authority.

“Navigo Easy is the first solution to be developed so that, in the coming years, we can say goodbye to cardboard tickets.

“During 2019, other products such as the Navigo Liberté Plus (pay-per-use) and Navigo Sénior (half-fare) will make it possible to develop a complete Navigo range, meeting everyone’s needs and budget.”

Navigo Easy is aimed at travellers, occasional visitors and tourists, the transportation authority says.

Available at any station for €2 ($2.27), the rechargeable cards can simultaneously store a variety of day passes, full-price and reduced-fare single tickets, multi-ticket bundles and airport bus tickets.

Once the Smart Navigo NFC mobile ticketing service comes online in September, commuters will be able to store both Navigo transit passes and T+ prepaid ticket books on their devices, Île-de-France Mobilités revealed in May.

Smart Navigo stores tickets and passes in the SIM in Android smartphones operating on the Orange network or in the embedded secure element built into certain Samsung phones, enabling commuters to use the service even if their smartphone is switched off or out of battery.

The solution has been developed by a consortium of companies including Dejamobile, Gemalto and Wizway.