In a significant move aimed at promoting sustainable transportation and bolstering the country’s rail network, French authorities have unveiled plans to raise taxes on airline tickets.
The increased tax revenue will be channelled into vital investments in train infrastructure, with the goal of encouraging more travellers to opt for trains over flights for domestic and international journeys.
Minister of Transport Reveals Ambitious Strategy
French Minister of Transport, Clément Beaune, made the official announcement, outlining the government’s strategy to create a more affordable and attractive rail travel option. The proposed higher taxes on flight tickets are set to be formally implemented next year as part of the upcoming national budget.
Beaune highlighted the ongoing surge in rail travel within the country, emphasizing that the timing is opportune to make train travel more accessible.
He further disclosed that this summer is anticipated to witness record-breaking sales of train tickets, reflecting a growing public preference for train journeys.
“We are poised to achieve a new milestone in summer train ticket sales. There exists a palpable inclination towards train travel, which we aim to fortify by collaborating with regional authorities to lower fare costs,” stated Minister Beaune in an exclusive interview with RMC.
Beyond Tax Hike
Minister Beaune underlined that the government is exploring a comprehensive approach, considering the implementation of an aircraft fuel tax as a complementary measure. He explained that this tax aligns with sustainable practices and broader environmental goals.
While an exact timeline for the reduction of train ticket prices has yet to be confirmed, Minister Beaune asserted that the adjustments will come into effect by the following summer. Special focus will be placed on reducing costs for young travellers, with plans to introduce reduced-rate passes for various groups of passengers.
“Our objective is to introduce a reduced and unlimited travel pass, particularly tailored to the youth, by the next summer season,” confirmed Minister Beaune.
An Ongoing Effort to Prioritize Affordable Rail Travel
Earlier this year, Minister Beaune noted that French citizens already enjoy more budget-friendly train fares compared to their counterparts in neighbouring European Union countries. However, the government aims to further incentivize sustainable transportation by making rail travel even more cost-effective.
As part of this commitment, France has recently launched discounted summer train fares, catering to both locals and tourists seeking economical travel options.
Reports from Euronews indicate that over 200,000 fixed-price train tickets at €19, each have been sold. Additionally, until August 27, a considerable number of express train services in Hauts-de-France are available for the astonishingly low fare of just €1.
Given the limited availability of seats at this exceptional price point, prospective travellers are advised to secure their tickets well in advance.
The French government’s proactive measures to promote eco-friendly travel options and invigorate its rail network signal a concerted effort to create a more sustainable and accessible transportation landscape. As the proposed changes come into effect, the future of travel in France is poised to be more connected, efficient, and environmentally conscious.