Paris Declares All Public Transportation Free in Fight Against “Worst Air Pollution for 10 years”


After suffering its worst prolonged winter “smog”, Paris has made all Public transport completely free for use. Even-numbered license plates have also been temporarily barred from roads on Wednesday in order to encourage more public transport use. The same occurred for odd-numbered license plates on Tuesday.

Paris’ pollution had hit its worst prolonged winter pollution in 10 years. Paris Mayor, Anne Hidalgo, said, “images of smog blanketing the capital were proof of the need to reduce vehicle use in the city.”

According to Airparif Agency, the smog is due to emissions from vehicles, domestic wood fires as well as low wind levels, which keeps pollutant molecules from dispersing, therefore creating a “smog blanket” over the city.

The Agency for Environment and Energy Management (Ademe), in Ile-de-France said, road traffic and vehicle emissions “is responsible for two-thirds of nitrogen dioxide emissions and 55% of small particulate emissions in Paris.”

This temporary solution started on Tuesday for free public transport in Paris. This measure could cost the government up to €4 million. Drivers could be fined up to €35, if they’re caught driving on days their license plates have been barred from the road. On Tuesday, over 1,700 motorists were fined. Hybrid or electric cars, and cars with three or more people are allowed on the roads. These new restrictions do not apply to Foreign and emergency vehicles.

The Paris prefect, Michel Cadot, said: “As long as the meteorological situation remains the same and emissions remain the same, we will not see the end of the pollution spike,” saying that if required, the ban would be extended another day.

Unfortunately, as a result, on Tuesday morning there were serious delays to the RER B and Line A commuter line until around 6pm. Roads also saw severe traffic at around 9am.




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