Welcome to France
Public transport: how to get about more cheaply
There are specific fares or schemes for students and young people in general, to help you get about more cheaply on public transport. Do you know what they are?
To start with, it's good to know that if you're on an internship, a work-study contract or apprenticeship, your employer must pay for 50% of your travel costs from your home to the internship location. Other schemes can complement and run alongside this payment.
National schemes managed by the SNCF
The SNCF offers discounted fares for school pupils, students and apprentices, and Carte Jeune card holders.
School pupils, students and apprentices
School pupils under 21 years old, students under 26 years old and apprentices under 23 years old can take out a subscription that:
- pays for the reservation of 9 monthly trips in 2nd class only
- after these 9 trips, you get a 50% discount on the full "Loisir" (Leisure) fare (TGV high-speed train & Intercities)
On TER regional railways, SNCF offers a school pupil, student and apprentice subscription for travelling between your home and the place of study, at reduced fares.
SNCF has a youth card for young people age 12-27, at the price of€50 which, subject to certain conditions, offers discounts on TGV, TER and Intercité trains:
- 30% guaranteed discount on all TGV and Intercité trains, with compulsory booking
- 10% extra guaranteed discount on "Prem's" (Early Bird) tickets
- 25% to 50% discount on TER and Intercité trains without compulsory booking
- Last-minute offers
With the Carte Jeune card you can also get a 25% discount on lines between France-Spain, France-Luxembourg, TGV Paris-Freiburg im Breisgau, Lyria trains, TGV France-Italy and France-Germany (subject to certain conditions), with compulsory booking.
If you are between 16 and 27 years of age and you travel at least twice a month on TGV and Intercité trains, this offer is worthwhile. For €79 a month, with TGVMAX, you can travel as often as you like.
The Forfait Étudiant
To make your life easier, SNCF combines several discount schemes within the Forfait Étudiant (Student Pass), introduced in 2017. Select your town/city and the search engine will combine the regional, national schemes and other parameters. This pass can help you save up to €153 in some cases.
Example, in Tours
The "standard" pass at a cost of €41 consists of:
- the 12-27 Carte Jeune card (which is €50) +
- the jvmalin Fil Bleu "Liberté Tickets" (Freedom Liberty) card with 3 trips +
- €50 of vouchers (train, bus, car-sharing, car rental)
> Test out the combinations on https://forfait-etudiant.sncf.com/
What about regional and local transport?
Regional discounts offered by SNCF
For each mainland region, the TER network offers discounts for young people and students.
- Burgundy Franche-Comté
- Centre-Val de Loire
- Grand Est
- Pays de la Loire
- Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
Compare it with what's offered in the Forfait Étudiant, and select the best combination for you according to your needs and situation (A regional subscription only? The Carte Jeune care only? The Forfait Étudiant, combining several offers at a lower cost?).
The French Regions, departments and cities often offer young people subscriptions at a reduced rate, or partial or total financial assistance with the cost of public transport tickets.
> You can look at the regional assistance mapfor regional discounts:)
> In all cases, check with your local Council or the local transport companies
Zoom in on the Paris Region
Carte Imagine R
If you are under 26 and a student, you can get the Carte Imagine R card, valid for one year, for travel in the entire Paris Region (Île-de-France).
The Imagine R annual card costs €342, payable once or over 9 instalments, without any additional fees, +€8 administration fee. To subscribe, pick up an application from a RATP station or apply online.
There are five start dates for the pass: 1 September, 1 October, 1 November, 1 December or 1 January.
If you are no longer a student but you are under 26 and looking for work, you can receive travel vouchers, which you can use to buy the tickets or passes of your choice (except for "Forfaits Solidarité Transport" (for people on benefits) and tickets sold on buses).
They come in values of €4 or €8 and work like a voucher, which means that you cannot get any change from the value of these vouchers. They are accepted at RATP and Transilien SNCF ticket offices. These vouchers are issued by local career offices or Careers Guidance Services (Permanences d'accueil d'information et d'orientation - PAIO).
If you are aged 16-25 and you are registered in a regional public training and integration scheme, such as Avenir Jeunes, Programmes Compétences and École de la Deuxième Chance, for the duration of your training course, you can receive a ticket for free travel throughout the Paris Region.
> When you begin the course, the training body will tell you how to apply.
Ticket Jeunes Week-end
If you are under 26, you can get a Ticket Jeunes Week-end (Youth Weekend Ticket), for unlimited travel (with the exception of Filéo and other airport connections: Orlybus, Orlyval, Roissybus, Orly and Roissy by RER) in selected zones for one day, a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday.
The ticket costs:
- €4.10 for zones 1 to 3
- €8.95 for zones 1 to 5
- €5.25 for zones 3 to 5