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Paris Metro Ticket Machine

By | June 2, 2016 | in Tickets

This is a step-by-step visual guide to ticket vending machines for the Paris Metro, Bus, Tram and RER.


In the above photo we see a Paris Transit Authority ticket vending machine.  You’ll often find these machines just beside manned Metro ticket windows.  At large Metro stations such as Chatelet Les Halles or Gare de Lyon you’ll find these machines placed throughout the station, usually embedded into walls.

Machine Layout

Let’s analyze the layout of the machine clockwise from the red button.

The red button is the “No” or “Cancel” button.  When you’ve taken a wrong step, made an erroneous choice, press this button to go “back” or to answer “No” to a question.

The large display screen is not a touch screen, unlike Billetterie Ile-de-France ticket machines.  To make choices on the screen, we use the rollbar located directly beneath the screen.

On the right, (mostly cut-off from my poor picture taking,) is the debit card slot, with a pinpad just beneath it.  These machines accept debit cards, but not credit cards, and also euro coins through a slot, not visible in the picture.  Further right, again, not visible (sorry), is a purple Navigo pass card slot. Pass Navigo and Pass Navigo Decouverte cards can be loaded or charged at these machines.  Remember to remove the plastic protective cover from your card (if your card has one) before trying to insert the card.

Below that we have the green “Yes” or “Accept” button used to make selections.

Below the green Validez button is a ticket delivery slot, where bought tickets and receipts will be delivered upon completion of a purchase.

To the left of the Yes button we have the infamous roll bar.  Rolling this bar moves the selection “cursor” on the video screen.  Rolling this bar up with your hand moves to the next item “up” from the current position. Rolling the bar down, scrolls the highlighted item to the next item down on the screen.  To make a selection, press the green Validez (“Validate”) button.

Start / Welcome Screen

Let’s analyze what we see on the start screen, what you’ll see when you first arrive at the machine.

At the top left corner we see the RATP logo and what station you’re currently at (Chatelet Les Halles) along with which fare zone you’re in (zone 1). At the top right we have the current date and time.  You’ll notice that there is no language choice on this starting screen, but there will be one on the next page.

The Blue rectangle is the currently selected item or “cursor”. Upon start, the item selected is “Tournez le rouleau, puis appuyez sur valider” which in English is “Turn the rollbar, then push Validate”.

The starting screen has two selections:

  1. Buy tickets, coupons (“Acheter des tickets, coupons”)
  2. Recharge a Pass Navigo (“Recharger un passe Navigo“)

Rolling the bar upwards will move the blue “highlight cursor” to “Acheter des tickets, coupons”. Pressing the Green “Validez” button will select that item and bring you to the next screen.

Buying Tickets

To buy a Paris Metro ticket, also good for the bus or tram, roll the bar upwards to highlight “Acheter des tickets, coupons” then press the green button.

On this next screen we have four selections, the bottommost being language choices for this machine (“English, Español, Deutsch, Italiano”).  I did not make a language selection, so the rest of the screens are still in French.

First choice (already highlighted in blue) is Paris Metro Ticket t+ for the Metro, Bus and Tram in Paris, Second class (“2e classe”), Full Price (“Plein Tarif”).  These tickets are always Second Class, since First Class Metro cars no longer exist.  Full Price tickets means Adult Price, which is currently ( as of June 1, 2019) 1.90€ per ticket, bought singly. Children’s fares or half price tickets (“Demi Tarif or Tarif Réduit”) can be purchased through the Billets Ile-de-France, RATP, SNCF Autres coupons, Aeroports selection (3rd from the top).

Second choice is a booklet (“carnet”) of ten Paris Metro Tickets, again for Metro, Bus or Tram.  The total price for 10 tickets is 14.90€, making each ticket 1.49€, a discount of about 20% off the full price of 1.90€. I believe you can purchase a maximum of two booklets at once (twenty tickets total).  A booklet of 10 tickets for children 4-9 (inclusive) costs 7.45€.

Third choice is for reduced price tickets (for children or other discount pass holders) and Billets Ile-de-France (station to station tickets, destinations outside of central Paris) such as tickets to Airport Charles de Gaulle (10.30€ one way), and day passes such as Ticket Mobilis.

Fourth choice takes you to a languages selection page where you can change the language used by the ticket machine.

On the right side of the screen we see the current station (Chatelet Les Halles), the date, payment types accepted and min./max. values (debit card is accepted for purchases totaling 1€ or more, Euro coins up to 30€ maximum) and a note saying that this machine will make change.

On the next screen above we choose the quantity of individual tickets we’re wanting to buy.  Nine individual tickets is the maximum since ten would make a carnet, which is 20% cheaper. Roll the selection bar to the desired value and press the green Validate button.

Following the quantity selection we’re asked if we would like a receipt for the purchase. Useful if your travel costs are reimbursed.

Finally we come to the payment screen which unlocks the coin slot and the card reader checks for debit cards.  As far as I know, you cannot mix and match payment types, either all coins or all debit card.  North American debit cards will most likely not work.

If paying by debit card, you’ll have to enter your PIN number via the keypad to the right of the display screen.  These machines can be slow to read debit cards, so expect upwards of ten seconds for the machine to respond after inserting your card.

Once you’ve completed the payment of your purchase, your tickets and possibly a receipt will be dropped into the ticket collection slot below the green Validez button.

I’ll attempt to get some more screen shots of ticket vending machine usage in English and for purchasing Billets Ile-de-France for Aeroport Charles de Gaulle or Airport Paris-Orly.

Paris Train Ticket Machine

By | August 11, 2008 | in Tickets

This is a visual guide to using ticket vending machines found in and around Paris for purchasing train tickets and carnets (books) of tickets for station to station travel (between cities) around the Ile-de-France region, serviced by Transilien, Ter, and RER train networks. For ticket machines selling tickets for the Paris Metro, Bus, Tram and RER, see the Paris Metro Ticket Machine guide.

This is a photo of a train ticket vending machine found throughout Paris and Ile-de-France train stations (Gare de Lyon, Gare du Nord, Gare Montparnasse, Gare St. Lazare, Gare de l’Est, Gare d’Austerlitz, Gare de Bercy, plus stations through Ile-de-France) and at some Paris Metro/RER stations. These ticket machines operate with a touch screen. They accept Euro coins and European or smart-chip enabled credit/debit cards.

Tickets sold from these machines are for station to station travel, inside and outside central Paris, within the Ile-de-France region. You may also purchase tickets for the Paris Metro, Tram and Bus (Paris Metro “Ticket t+”, carnets [“booklets”] of Paris Metro Tickets) from these machines.

Tickets and change (if necessary) are dispensed into the bottom tray. Ticket printing can be somewhat slow, so be patient when completing your transaction and wait till all of your tickets are dispensed.

Passes such as Pass Navigo Decouverte, and Paris Visite Card, are not sold from these machines.  You’ll have to visit a ticket window/booth to purchase these, since they come with additional paper identification cards and/or contactless smart cards.

Above the screen is a large black bar containing a CB (Carte Bleu) debit card symbol and a “Rend La Monnaie” (“Makes Change”) note. When a ticket vending machine is not working, a red “Hors Service” (“Out of Service”) sign will be lit on this black bar. Check that this sign is not lit before attempting to use a given machine. Also, if the machine is low or out of coins and cannot make change, a red sign will be lit just below Rend La Monnaie to indicate this.

Looking closely at the payment panel we see that the ticket machine accepts Mastercard and Visa credit cards, Carte Bleu debit cards, Euro coins and Mondeo cash cards. North American and non-smart chip credit cards will most likely not work with any ticket machines nor at ticket purchase windows. Keep this in mind and have cash on hand before queuing to buy tickets at Paris train stations.

Visible in the above photo is the large purple Navigo card slot. This slot can be used to recharge a Pass Navigo or Pass Navigo Decouverte with Carte Orange week and month transit passes.

Navigo Pass Machine Welcome Screen

The starting screen of these ticket vending machines (“billetterie”) offer language choices at the top right hand corner. In this photo we see the choices are English and Spanish languages for this train ticket machine.

Navigo Machine Welcome Screen English

After switching to English we see that our options are either to recharge a Navigo Pass card or to buy individual tickets or carnets of tickets. To charge a Pass Navigo, start by inserting your card into the purple Navigo card reader (visible in the second photo above).

Touching the blue rectangle will start a ticket buying session.  The “season tickets” mentioned on the second choice refers not to football tickets (unfortunately), but rather ticket based fares for station to station travel which work for a set period of time.

The other useful information we can see on this initial screen:

  • Coins are usable for purchases up to 30€
  • Mondeo cash cards are accepted up to 30€
  • Carte Bleu debit cards/credit cards are accepted for purchases greater than 1€

Paris Train Ticket Vending Machine Ticket Types

Before analyzing this screen, keep in mind that some of the choices shown here will differ depending on where the machine is located. Starting from the top left and moving clockwise:

  • Single Ticket to Paris: This machine, being located outside of Paris, offers the most popular ticket first: a single ticket from this station to Paris. These “station to station” tickets, priced on the distance between stations, are known as a billet Ile-de-France.  The price of these tickets varies depending on where you are buying the ticket.  For example from Charles de Gaulle Airport to Paris the price of the billet Ile-de-France would be 10€ (January 1, 2015).  Fontainebleau-Avon to Paris Gare de Lyon is 8,85€.
  • Mobilis Ticket: a day pass in the form of a multiple use, paper ticket coupon.  Good for unlimited voyages on trains, RER, Metro, buses and trams within Zones 1 to 5 (all zones) for a single day until end of service (not a 24 hour period).  The number of zones covered by the Ticket Mobilis depends on where the ticket machine is located. In this case, the machine is located in Zone 5 and thus to be valid for use here, the Ticket Mobilis covers zones 1 – 5.  If you purchased this ticket in Zone 4, it would be Zone 1 to 4 (with more zone choices available through the “Other Options” selection).
  • Cancel button: Ends this purchase session, returning to the (French) welcome screen.
  • Other options: If you’re wishing to travel to another train station other than the default destination (Paris), this is where you would find that option.  You will be asked to specify the name of the destination station through an on-screen keyboard.  As you start to type the name of the destination station, the machine will offer suggestions depending on what you’ve entered.  Click on the desired station name when it appears below the on-screen keyboard to select it as your destination station.  At that point the ticket machine will price the station to station billet Ile-de-France and present you with quantity options (how many tickets you wish to buy).
  • Ticket(s) to Airports: Travel to Airport Charles de Gaulle and Airport Paris-Orly are specially priced and require their own specific billet Ile-de-France.
  • Book of tickets Ticket t (Metro/Bus/RER) in Paris: For convenience these billetteries offer carnets (books of 10 or 20) of single ride tickets for the Metro, Bus, RER, Tram within Paris.  These tickets, known as Ticket t or Ticket t+, are not valid for station to station travel outside of Paris (which require billets Ile-de-France). Paris Metro Ticket t+ are valid for voyages on the Paris Metro (subway which covers zones 1 & 2), Bus and Zone 1 for the RER.
  • 1 book of 10 tickets: This selection is for buying a carnet (book of 10) of billets Ile-de-France for a particular voyage from this station to another station.  These tickets will be valid only for travel between these two stations in particular.  Don’t try to use these tickets departing from a different station other than the two you’ve specified during the purchase routine.

Paris Train Ticket Machine ticket quantity

On this screen we choose the number of individual tickets we wish to purchase.  In this example I’m purchasing a single Ticket Mobilis 1-5 Zone day pass for a day trip into Paris from Fontainebleau.  I chose a Ticket Mobilis because I knew I’d have to make a same day round trip to Paris, with several Metro/RER rides while in central Paris.  Thus the Mobilis makes the most economic sense and is also convenient, being a single ticket I use over and over, rather than multiple separate tickets I must keep track of.  Keep in mind that Ticket Mobilis day passes are not valid for voyages to or from Airports CDG nor Paris-Orly.  Pass Navigo Decouverte, if you have purchased one, is valid for CDG Airport, granted that you have purchased the zones necessary (5 zone for CDG).

Paris Train Ticket Vending Machine Payments Accepted

This is the payment screen for the Billetterie Ile-de-France ticket machine.  Here I must choose Cash or credit/debit card.  Although the choice reads “Cash”, these ticket machines only accept Euro coins, not Euro bills.  When paying by coins, selecting the Cash button will unlock the coin slot, otherwise, it will be blocked.

Paris Train Ticket Vending Machine insert payment card

Here I’ve chosen to pay by Carte Bleu debit card.  After inserting your European smart-chip credit/debit card, wait for the reader to (slowly) read the card. (North American credit cards are not accepted, except for smart-chip cards available from a few select banks).

PIN code security is required for all credit/debit card purchases.  Three consecutive errors on entering your PIN code will block your card.

Paris Train Ticket Machine Remove Card

Complete the purchase by removing your card when you see the above screen and hear the chirping noise coming from the machine.

Paris Train Ticket Vending Machine Receipt Option

The final question is whether you’d like a receipt printed or not.  The receipt will be printed on a blank ticket.  After this, simply wait until the tickets you’ve purchased are (slowly) dispense at the bottom collection tray.  If you’ve paid with coins, collect your change (if any) from the right hand side of the collection tray, separated from the tickets.