« Ofsorry mom, another weekend when I won’t be able to visit you. “This tweet, written by César Bouvet – an environmentalist at the Paris city hall – on May 22, is probably one of the many rants against the train ticket prices applied by the SNCF in recent months. Indeed, many Internet users have complained about the increase in prices since the lifting of the latest government restrictions related to Covid-19. In particular – even if it has always been this way – when the trip is planned only a short time in advance…

A state of affairs or a very widely shared feeling, which, according to numerous testimonies on the Web, prevents many people from finding their loved ones, especially on this Ascension weekend. The SNCF tried to explain itself, saying that prices had fallen compared to 2019, but, according to Insee data, that reports The Figaro, the tariffs have risen well.

According to Insee, between April 2021 and April 2022, train ticket prices experienced a real boom, increasing by 14.6% on average. Between January and April of this year, Insee even calculates an increase of 15.3%.

More than 10,000 queries listed

To achieve these results, the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies collected data on the Internet by listing four “purchase antecedents”, it is explained in the methodology of the study. Thus, the prices in force were observed when the ticket is purchased 2 days, 10 days, 30 days and finally 60 days before the trip. More than 10,000 queries have been compiled as a result.

Insee has also clarified with Release that from one year to the next, there could be more or fewer discount card holders. “Profiles with and without a card do not have the same weight in the calculation. “This parameter was therefore taken into account in the study, like Ouigo-type low-cost offers. And yet this has not allowed Insee to reach the same conclusion as SNCF: namely that prices have fallen.

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The SNCF and INSEE do not actually arrive at the same result, because the two entities do not take the same year of comparison. Insee has carried out its calculations for 2022 compared to 2021, while the railway company assures that it is necessary to calculate the difference with 2019, before the health and economic crisis.

“Average prices have fallen by 7%”

“In 2021, there were much fewer people on trains and the proportion of reduced prices was higher, which lowered the average,” explained Jean-Pierre Farandou, CEO of SNCF, at a press conference.

“We respect the Insee figures, of course, but the good year for comparison with 2022 is 2019,” he insisted. “And there the average prices objectively fell by 7%! “Who is right? Who’s wrong? The daily rumbling of Internet users on social networks seems today to give Insee an update…