France’s Junior Transport Minister has confirmed train company SNCF will operate its trains at 100 per cent capacity from mid-June
FRENCH Junior Transport Minister, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, has confirmed that from mid-June train company SNCF will operate its trains at 100 per cent capacity, no longer restricting ticket sales to only 50 per cent of seats.
SNCF was previously asked to operate their trains at only half their capacity until June 2, to help enforce social distancing on-board. However, this had been met with criticism from the company, who pointed out that such measures had not been imposed on aircraft.
The restrictions had mostly affected TGV services, which need to be at 60 per cent capacity to avoid running at a loss.
With lower numbers of travellers at the moment, SNCF is not likely to be swamped with passengers, even with 100 per cent of tickets available. New health and safety measures will apply, such as passengers wearing masks when travelling on trains.
In early May, SNCF boss Jean-Pierre Farandou pointed out new safety measures, “We will put marks on the floor so customers can respect barrier measures. The counterpart of this reciprocal engagement is [the public] wearing a mask.”
He added that “it will be possible to buy masks at the station, but the right thing to do, would be to come into the station wearing a mask already.”
Residents have also been encouraged to book train tickets for summer holidays within France, President Macron and PM Philippe both made statements encouraging people to “go on holiday within France… in July and August”.