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Strategies for an integrated tariff system for public transport

La Rochelle

La Rochelle developed a simplified structure for multimodal tickets in order to encourage more people to use public transportation.

Implementing sustainable mobility

Most experts agree that the most effective way to get people to change their travel behaviour is via financial incentives to use public transport, and disincentives that make car travel less appealing.

Prior to measure implementation, there was a confusing range of prices for public transport in La Rochelle with more than 80 ticket types available. Integrated public transport ticketing was therefore implemented for various user groups including commuters, students and tourists, in order to rationalise and simplify the pricing system and make tariffs easier for passengers to understand.

How did the measure progress?

The initial step was a complete analysis of the current pricing system, together with a comparison with other French and European cities, on the basis of which a new pricing offer could be proposed. One finding was the importance of having a dedicated ticket for each user category.

A tourist pass was developed to combine unlimited public transport use with discounted entry fees to museums and other attractions. Convenience was also improved through e-ticketing and season tickets with attractive tariffs. 

Smart cards were also introduced for use by students.

What were the outcomes of the measure?

The implementation of integrated ticketing products in La Rochelle can be regarded as a success. The new seven-day pass was the most popular new product, accounting for a little over half of the sales in a four-year period. The number of public transport trips using the Pass Rochelais between 2005 and 2008 increased and virtually all users  were satisfied with the practical information on prices and services provided in the specially produced brochure. Among surveyed tourists, 63 percent said that they used their car less during their stay in La Rochelle thanks to the Pass Rochelais.

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La Rochelle Site Manager

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