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Andrea Romano
Updated January 30, 2019

A European vacation might not seem like the most affordable getaway, but the city of Paris is taking on a new measure to help families get around for less.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo announced in a statement that children under the age of 11 will be able to ride on public transit for free starting in September, even non-Parisians. This is one small step in the Mayor’s plan to hopefully make public transit free to everyone, according to The Local.

Currently, children under the age of four already ride the Paris Metro for free, but children ages four to 11 are charged half-price. The new measure will also allow people with disabilities under the age of 20 to ride for free, as well as give elementary, high school and university students half-off their Imagine’R travel pass. People between the ages of 14 and 18 will also be able to use the city’s bike system for free, according to Lonely Planet.

All of these measures, of course, are also meant to encourage a cleaner environment in downtown Paris, which the Mayor hopes to make more pedestrian friendly and have a reduced number of cars in the area. 

According to CityLab, the streets in Paris are slowly being “pedestrianized” by reducing the number of car lanes and banning certain cars from the road. Up until now, opponents of these measure have criticized the changes by calling them elitist and prejudiced against lower-income suburbanites, CityLab reported. But cheaper or even free public transit can be seen as an answer to those critics.

Single use, one-way fares for adults on Paris' public transit cost €1.90 ($2.17), which is relatively cheap compared to other major metropolitan areas around the world — a single fare subway or bus ride in New York City is $2.75 — but no one is here to argue against a free ride. Many other cities, like Berlin and London, have discounted or even free rides for children under certain ages, according to Lonely Planet.

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