Faced with inflation, a complex tariff strategy at the SNCF

In Bordeaux station, November 25, 2021.

Faced with energy prices up 180%, general costs and wages which will also increase, by around 6%, the SNCF estimates that the cost of operating the TGV will soar by 13 % in 2023. This puts it in a dilemma: should it pass this charge on to travelers or take on its margin, or even on investments? Because the TGV is the only train that does not receive any public aid. Its costs are borne entirely by travelers through the ticket office. A big difference with the daily trains, the TER, largely subsidized by the regions, or with the Intercités, partly financed by the State.

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Christophe Fanichet, the boss of SNCF Voyageurs, and Alain Krakovitch, that of the TGV, did not have to ask the question for long. The Minister Delegate for Transport, Clément Beaune, gave them the answer by asking for the establishment of a tariff shield, the outlines of which he defined: a general increase below inflation (estimated at more than 6% in October) , with protection for young people.

The result is a complicated kitchen. On average, prices will increase by 5%, explain the leaders of the SNCF. These new rates will apply as of January 10. But behind the average, there are several realities.

Very early

Let’s start with the prices which will not increase at all: this will concern the fares of the TGV Ouigo (one TGV out of five) and the first prices on the TGV Inoui, those which we sometimes manage to buy by taking very careful advance as soon as the seats in the trains are open for sale. The price of the Avantage card also remains unchanged: 4 million people have purchased this card which, for 49 euros per year, gives the right to a 30% reduction on certain tickets and 60% for children. It is even currently on sale at 28 euros until November 28.

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On his arrival as President of the SNCF, Jean-Pierre Farandou introduced price ceilings for tickets purchased with this card: 39 euros for journeys of less than an hour and a half, 59 euros for journeys between 1h30 and three hours, 79 euros beyond. They are not changing, but are only guaranteed until September 2023. The price of TGV Max junior and senior subscriptions – which allow you to travel by TGV as much as you want, within the limit of available seats – will also remain unchanged. at 79 euros per month.

No more free exchange or cancellation up to three days before departure

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