• The president of the MEL had announced on Twitter the introduction of free transport for those under 18.

  • This measure must be voted on June 28 for entry into force on January 1, 2022.

  • For the moment, there are no plans to extend free access to other age groups or according to status.

Will the taboo of free access be lifted? On June 28, Damien Castelain, president of the European Metropolis of Lille, will present a deliberation with a view to making metropolitan public transport free for minors from January 1, 2022. The cost of this measure, estimated at 8.5 million euros, should not ruin the institution and the initiative is rather well received by the various political groups in the assembly. But, there is a but…

“There is in this measure a principle of equality.

All metropolitan residents under the age of 18 will be entitled to it, ”

Damien Castelain


20 Minutes


For him, it is a question of going beyond the social pricing linked to the family quotient set up in 2016, It is "an additional step, in order to restore purchasing power to families", continues the president of the MEL.

According to the MEL, this would concern 300,000 young people between 4 and 18 years for a "loss of income" of 8.5 million euros.

There will be no generalized free admission

What is seen by the metropolitan opposition as "an announcement effect" leads some to ask the question: is it a

one shot

 ? “Of course, things are going in the right direction if it is not the balance of any social pricing account,” wonders Stéphane Baly, elected ecologist. "It is a first step which can create change by children in the behavior of adults", estimates Ingrid Brûlant, LREM metropolitan councilor.

All nevertheless agree to sweep away generalized free access. “Total free access is not possible for a community like ours. Its cost is far too important to bear, ”admits Damien Castelain, advancing the figure of 135 million euros per year. Especially since the president of the MEL does not plan to compensate for the lack with other users: “We do not give free access to minors to recover the lack of revenue on other subscriptions. In addition, the mobility payment is already at the ceiling, ”he says, specifying that savings will be made on the institution's operating budget.

There is also no question of soon extending the principle of free education to young people under 25, yet excluded from aid such as the RSA.

“This would represent 42 million euros in annual revenue losses in operation.

Once again, a cost that is too high for our community to bear, ”concedes Damien Castelain.

And this also applies to the unemployed, retirees, the disabled, the MEL now refusing to "return to free according to status without taking income into account".

A position not very far from that of the elected ecologist who also prefers social pricing, provided "that the thresholds of family quotients are revalued", insists Stéphane Baly.


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  • Mobility

  • Transport

  • Lille

  • Free