SNCF pricing is always extremely difficult to understand and can be compared to an obstacle course to detect all the subtleties. Some users spend a lot of time finding the best rates. But in some cases, unraveling the mystery is simply not possible. In Normandy, as in other French regions, the management of TER-Intercités train lines has passed from the State to the region. There are, for example, the Paris-Deauville, Paris-Caen-Cherbourg and even Alençon-Le-Mans-Tours connections that are concerned, details The Parisian. The daily highlights a paradox: the cost of the ticket changes depending on whether the user reserves his ticket at the regional or national ticket office. Worse still, there is not necessarily consistency on the cheapest rate.
“Since January 1, 2020, all trains are regional but there is still a very complicated double pricing system. The region must absolutely harmonize all this. Depending on where you buy your ticket, you do not pay the same. price “, alert Daniel Grébouval, president of the National Federation of transport user associations, quoted by Le Parisien. This is where the shoe pinches: it is difficult to understand anything.
To better understand, the newspaper tested two lines. First, a Paris-Caen on Thursday January 6 from Saint-Lazare station in the capital. On the machine, the regional ticket called “Tempo” costs 36 euros one way, regardless of the time of day, while at the ticket office or on the OUI.sncf site, three prices are offered depending on the hour, from 26, 50 euros to 37.10 euros. A flexible price exists at 45.20 euros for the latter possibility, against 36 euros for the regional ticket. On a Paris-Cherbourg, the regional ticket is displayed at 52 euros, against prices ranging from 20 to 57.20 euros depending on the hours and formulas online or at the counter.
Le Parisien specifies that the regional price is fixed and depends on the number of kilometers traveled, when at the national level, demand varies the price. But to find the best rate, it is impossible to compare online. The TER Normandie do not display the capital in the destinations, so you have to go to the ticket office or to a machine at the station. Not to mention the new standard implemented by the rail operator: it is compulsory to book your regional ticket on weekends. Contacted by Le Parisien, the Normandy region explains that the logic is as follows: the more the user books in advance, the lower the price. Which does not really solve the imbroglio …
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