The closure of SNCF ticket offices in small and medium-sized railway stations is causing concern

The closure of SNCF ticket offices in small and medium-sized railway stations is causing concern

Lille, December 12, 2011. Since December 11, the SNCF changes the schedules of its trains called the 'timing'. Trains will leave the same minute every hour. Illustration here in Lille Flandres station. – M.LIBERT / 20 MINUTES

  • PS and Democrats in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region have launched a petition to denounce the closure of 34 SNCF ticket offices in small and medium-sized railway stations and the disappearance of a public service.
  • SNCF states that it has not drawn up a closure plan.
  • She works on other solutions such as ticket sales by a third party.

He wants to "sound the alarm". The socialist and democratic group of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region has just launched
a petition to denounce the closure of the SNCF ticket offices in the stations of "small towns". "An unprecedented setback of public rail service is taking place in the utmost silence," insists Jean-François Debat, Mayor of Bourg-en-Bresse and President of the group.

In the region, 22 wickets have already disappeared and 12 could be wiped off the map before 2020. "We end up with 34 ghost stations in which at best a cash machine works but it is not guaranteed. If we wanted to kill stations and lines, we would not do otherwise, "continues the elected who sees" a clear will of the SNCF and the State to continue to dissuade people from taking the train ".

"They empty the stations to close some lines"

"They empty the stations and say that they are not profitable and close some lines, especially those that are less crowded," he accuses showing in turn the two maps of the closures of wickets and lines pinned by the Spinetta report. "This is another illustration of the voluntary decline of the public service," says Didier Vuillerme, Regional Councilor, member of the Transport Committee.

The SNCF, that 20 minutes contacted, did not wish to comment on the figures established by these whistleblowers. But claims to have established "no plan to close the wickets". "Proximity is part of the heart of our DNA. It is not a question of withdrawing from the territories but of reinventing the way one is implanted there ", argues the railway undertaking, stating that the" digitization "brought changes in the habits of consumption and displacements of the users .

Other distribution solutions

"Today, more than 8 out of 10 customers buy their tickets on the Internet or via their smartphone," she says. "At the beginning of 2018, 16% of TER ticket sales were digital. Today, we are at 40% and the goal is to reach 70% in 2020, "says SNCF.

"The reality is that sales are declining at the station counter. However, we do not forget customers who do not have access to the Internet or do not have this culture. There are other modes of distribution, other solutions related to local communities. Like the sale of third parties, "she says. In Cantal, for example, where several wickets have been removed, users can now buy their tickets at the Tourist Office. Mobile vans are also running in some villages twice a week and have hotlines in markets or campuses.

"We are also in contact with the tobacconists, bakeries or tobacconists of the communes. Sales areas are also installed in post offices, "says the company, revealing that from June, the 36.35 will now be zero-rated. In addition, as of June, Allô TER's client advisors, based in a call center in Clermont-Ferrand, will be authorized to sell TER tickets on a simple phone call., with free home delivery.

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