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Brianna. A first in the Eure: you can buy your train ticket at the café

Fabien Gouttefarde (deputy), Juliette Debeaupuis (director of territorial relations SNCF), Valéry Beuriot (mayor of Brionne), Marie-Noëlle Chevalier (regional councillor), Frédéric Delamare (vice-president of the intercom in charge of mobility) and Xavier Braud (president of the Brionne Eco-mobilités association). (© Eveil Normand / AB)

Buy a ticket to go from Brionne (Eure) in Saint-Malo without using the internet? It was the envy of a client last week. And it is now quite possible since the commissioning on Friday April 29, 2022 of a point of sale of SNCF transport tickets at the station cafe.

A project initiated by the Brionne Eco-mobilities association, whose dynamic and motivated team has been working locally for the development of soft transport modes for three years. The search for a custodian was fruitful: Mickaël Loquet immediately showed his interest in offering this service within the establishment he has been managing for ten years.

“Selling train tickets at the Café de la gare seemed obvious to me. And then, it helps to diversify my activity in addition to bar, tobacco and brewery. »

Mickael Laquet

Under the terms of the signed contract, he benefits from a fixed remuneration and a percentage on each ticket sold. And this, without the need to install cumbersome equipment. It is thanks to a very easy-to-use tablet and a small box that acts as a printer that it responds to requests for both regional and national journeys, Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Developing and re-humanizing public service

This device, if it already exists in Normandy, is a first in the department of Eure.

“It is important that a local service returns to Brionne. We are lucky to have a station, built in 1865. But the ticket office disappeared more than 30 years ago and we had not had a point of sale for four years. Today, we are betting everything on new technologies, but the digital divide is a reality in our rural areas. »

Valery Beuriot

The new service also contributes to creating links and a human relationship, “since you can have a coffee and chat while taking your ticket, notes Marie-Noëlle Chevalier, regional councillor. Local shops are the lungs of municipalities. When the counters have to close for economic reasons and the installation of an automaton is not possible, the Region tries to find a solution with the SNCF so as not to abandon the travellers. »

While the results of the last presidential election revealed a divide between town and country, with a feeling of abandonment in rural areas, “we see that things are changing when communities, private actors and associations take matters into their own hands “, retains the deputy Fabien Gouttefarde, emphasizing the importance of publicizing these initiatives. “In six months, how many Brionnais will know that they can buy an SNCF ticket here? asks the parliamentarian, his gaze turned towards the mayor.

We can count on the volunteers of Brionne Eco-mobilités to communicate, they who want to give the lie to the assertion oh so widespread according to which it would be impossible to have access to public transport in rural areas.

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“Many residents are unaware that trains still stop at our station, public transport is underused in Brionne,” notes President Xavier Braud, who sees the action of his association as a local contribution to the fight against global warming. “Train travel emits 20 to 30 times less CO2 than car travel,” he recalls. And at a time when fuel prices are straining household budgets, “the price of train tickets is not increasing, or even decreasing”.

Mickaël Loquet, the manager of the café, issues SNCF transport tickets using his tablet and his box.
Mickaël Loquet, the manager of the café, issues titles
SNCF transport thanks to its tablet and its box. (© Eveil Normand / AB)

Increase the number of stops at stations

However, in order to increase attendance, it is still necessary that the supply of journeys be up to expectations. The association therefore continues to campaign in favor of increasing the number of stops at Brionne station, currently served by eight TER trains per day (four round trips on the Caen-Rouen line).

Discussions are in particular underway to study the possibility of transporting high school students by train to Bernay in the morning rather than by bus. In the evening, an additional stop is also desired to allow a later return from Caen and Bernay. In the longer term, the City of Brionne intends to create an intermodal exchange center around the station to “bring together in one place the maximum number of uses with coaches, the creation of a carpooling area and a track cycle”, specifies Valéry Beuriot.

Happy with the “great progress for rail” represented by the point of sale inaugurated on Saturday April 30 in the presence of around twenty people, the Brionne Eco-mobilités association also sees its mobilization rewarded by the installation planned by the month of November of luminous panels on the quays. They will announce in real time the arrival times of the trains and will indicate any delays, so as not to leave travelers hanging around without information. “It’s the end of an injustice, many other small Normandy stations already benefiting from such panels”, rejoices Xavier Braud.

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