French Trains Use Online Vote to Choose Destination

By James O Malley on at

Forget train timetables - they are so last century. The French rail operator SNCF has launched a new service which lets passengers pick the destination.

Railway Gazette reports that #TGVpop is a concept by which passengers vote online in the weeks beforehand where they would like the train to go - with the most popular request winning. Passengers who voted are then offered the chance to buy tickets on the service with a few days to go. So luckily it doesn't mean getting on to the train and hoping that it goes to where you want it to.

The first services have already run - going from Paris to Nantes, Bordeaux, Marseille and Lyon - and Lyon to Paris. Apparently there is no on board catering on these special services, as the bar coach on trains is apparently designated to allow people who have met on the #TGVpop hashtag to meet. Tickets on the service are seemingly sold at a discount - costing between €25 and €35.

It isn't immediately clear whether the new service is a promotional stunt or a more serious attempt at meeting demand with more trains - but it would be interesting to see similar tried in this country too. [Railway Gazette]