If you take the métro or bus frequently, a Navigo pass can be a great alternative to tickets. With the Navigo, you never have to worry about buying tickets or dealing with those that get demagnetized. Because the pass has a chip in it rather than a magnetic trip, it can not be demagnetized. Better yet, if you lose it, getting a replacement is a snap.
So what’s the calculus?
There are two types of Navigo passes: one you load either monthly or weekly, depending on your needs, or the Intégrale, which is an annual subscription. For the standard Navigo, you load up the Navigo at a station kiosk and some ATMs at the beginning of the month or week. (Beware: On the first Monday of the month, particularly after vacations, there is usually a long line at the machine. You can avoid the lines by loading up your card as early as the 20th of the prior month or on Friday for a weekly pass.) With the Intégrale, you give your bank account information to the RATP and they take an amount out of your account for 11 months out of the year, and the 12th month is free.
Whether the Navigo makes sense for you obviously depends upon your transit use. For zones 1 and 2 (Paris plus pretty much anywhere the metro goes), the weekly fee is 18.35 euros. With a carnet (10 pack) of tickets costing 12 euros, you will beat the carnet price if you take 15 rides a week. The monthly fee of 60.40 euros beats the carnet price if you take 49 rides a month.*
The fees for the Intégrale are slightly lower. You will beat the carnet price if you take 41 rides per month.
There is a special Navigo pass for students called the Imagine R which we’ll discuss in an upcoming post.
Want to know more? Go to www.ratp.fr and click on “plus d’infos voyageurs” on the left side of the page and then on the purple bar “titres et tarifs” on the top of the subsequent page.
*The price of Métro tickets and Navigo passes may be increased! If legislation passes on June 1st, zones 5 and 6 will be merged and there will be price increases for both a book of subway tickets and Navigo passes. The new prices would begin July 1st.