C’est pas TERrible.


This summer, SNCF introduced new tickets for the TER trains. They are the size of a credit card, so they waste less paper and are easier to carry. However, they are nearly impossible to “composter” in the darn yellow machines. I have to shove my ticket in at least 3 times before it will work; that is, if it does work at all. The composteurs were made for the regular size tickets that you get from the ticket counter or the yellow automatic machines, not for these tiny little pieces of frustration. It doesn’t matter how many times you serre your ticket a gauche, or turn it around, it just beeps at you endlessly.

I’ve been noticing a lot of composteurs en panne lately, in about 5 different stations. Hmm, coincidence? I think not. The station near my work only has two machines, and neither one worked for over 2 months. So we had to wait in line at the counter and get our tickets stamped. Annoying! And now, every single machine in Annecy is hors service. Every single one.

So in rebellion, I was going to continue buying regular tickets from the yellow machines regardless of how much paper it wastes. Oh, but I can’t because with the recent schedule changes between Annecy and my work, I always have to change trains in La-Roche-sur-Foron, which means NO TRAINS show up on the yellow machines because they’re not direct trajets. So I am forced to buy these stupid little TER tickets and swear at the composteurs for not accepting them.

At least I don’t have to ride another train until 2008!

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  • shannon

    My train station in Chauny only has the TER machines, so if I’m going to buy a ticket when the guichet is closed (which seems to be all the time lately!), I have to buy it from there. I’ve discovered that if you just stick the ticket into the far left of the composteurs, it usually works on the first try. Usually. Or maybe I’m just lucky. I always fight with the composteurs at Gare de Nord with the regular tickets. They always tell me to turn the ticket over. I’ll do both ends, front and back, and sometimes it still doesn’t composte. Argh! Another thing about the little TER tickets that you might already know. If you buy an aller-retour, they put it on the same ticket. So if you’re like me and lose everything, it’s horrible to keep track of that damn little ticket!

  • shannon

    My train station in Chauny only has the TER machines, so if I’m going to buy a ticket when the guichet is closed (which seems to be all the time lately!), I have to buy it from there. I’ve discovered that if you just stick the ticket into the far left of the composteurs, it usually works on the first try. Usually. Or maybe I’m just lucky. I always fight with the composteurs at Gare de Nord with the regular tickets. They always tell me to turn the ticket over. I’ll do both ends, front and back, and sometimes it still doesn’t composte. Argh! Another thing about the little TER tickets that you might already know. If you buy an aller-retour, they put it on the same ticket. So if you’re like me and lose everything, it’s horrible to keep track of that damn little ticket!

  • Leah

    Would it be worthwhile to just get an abonnement de travail? I had one from Rennes to the city I worked in and it was 60 something euros per month, so it ended up saving me major euros as I commuted 4 times per week. Also, you only have to composte it once for the month and then you’re done! You have to get a form at the gare and then your school people and you will fill it out and bring it back in with all the stuff they require. Something to think about maybe…

  • Leah

    Would it be worthwhile to just get an abonnement de travail? I had one from Rennes to the city I worked in and it was 60 something euros per month, so it ended up saving me major euros as I commuted 4 times per week. Also, you only have to composte it once for the month and then you’re done! You have to get a form at the gare and then your school people and you will fill it out and bring it back in with all the stuff they require. Something to think about maybe…

  • Karina

    you can also grab a control dude while he’s passing through the train and say you didn’t have time to compost it, the do it for you and there is no charge as long as you ask him and not wait for him to control your ticket.

  • Karina

    you can also grab a control dude while he’s passing through the train and say you didn’t have time to compost it, the do it for you and there is no charge as long as you ask him and not wait for him to control your ticket.

  • Anne

    Ugh I SO relate to this. I’ve taken to buying all my tickets for the week at the Strasbourg train station but sometimes I end up having to make an extra trip home ( I usually get a lift on Mondays) and then I am confronted with the buying a little ticket dilemma. Once I actually stopped three different people to help me and none of them were able to either. I’d shoved the stupid thing in the machine so many times it became bent! Now I try once and if it doesn’t work I just get on the train and find the controlleur to composte it for me. But it still drives me crazy!!

  • Anne

    Ugh I SO relate to this. I’ve taken to buying all my tickets for the week at the Strasbourg train station but sometimes I end up having to make an extra trip home ( I usually get a lift on Mondays) and then I am confronted with the buying a little ticket dilemma. Once I actually stopped three different people to help me and none of them were able to either. I’d shoved the stupid thing in the machine so many times it became bent! Now I try once and if it doesn’t work I just get on the train and find the controlleur to composte it for me. But it still drives me crazy!!

Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at a university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling and being an American abroad.

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