The inhabitants of the metropolitan area of ​​Montpellier (MedCities’ member), which includes around thirty municipalities, are in luck. From this Thursday 21st December they can all move around the city for free on public transport.

Michaël DELAFOSSE, President of Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole, Mayor of the City of Montpellier, officially launched the implementation of free total public transport for all residents of the area Montpellier metropolis on the bus and tram network.

Free access will be accompanied in 2025 by the development of the offer of public transport with the construction of tram line 5 and the extension of line 1, the creation of 5 bus tram lines; leading to the acquisition of 77 additional tram-trains and of 70 electric buses. Montpellier also continues with conviction the development of cycling infrastructure.

Considering the various crises experienced in recent years, whether climatic, social or even geopolitical, offering mobility services that are more respectful of the planet and accessible to all constitutes a major challenge. Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole is the first French metropolis to implement completely free transport for its residents. Unique in France in its scale, this measure makes it possible to implement the necessary ecological transition, which is also a solidarity transition. This device reconciles protecting the environment and defending purchasing power. The Metropolis of Montpellier opted for this choice, in 2020, by proposing to make public transport more attractive for every inhabitant of the Metropolis.

A city of half a million inhabitants
In France, forty other localities had already taken this measure, such as Dunkerque, Aubagne or Compiègne. But they are smaller than Montpellier, which has half a million inhabitants. Until now, it had 86,000 subscribers to public transport, and with the free service, the number of users is expected to rise to 20%.

It will increase purchasing power
A family of 4 will save 1,472 euros per year on their public transport bill. Passengers will only have to carry a free pass, either a card or a mobile phone. They will not need to validate it, they will only need to display it if asked to do so in a control.

For visitors, the ticket price will remain at €1.60, although it may increase. To compensate for the lack of income, the city council has a mobility tax that applies to French companies with more than 10 workers from 2021.

Strategy against the climate crisis
The mayor of Montpellier, Michaël Delafosse, has explained that free transport, a promise of his electoral program, is an idea of ​​the European commitment to the climate, the Green New Deal. He added that they have decided to set up an association to help other European mayors make this decision.

In Europe, the capital of Estonia, Tallinn, with 445,000 inhabitants, did so in 2013, and Luxembourg, with 650,000, in 2020.

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