Lille has recently switched to only allowing smart cards for tickets, the old paper tickets have been phased out. (No-one's updated their English language pages on tickets for that however...). As detailed on the French ticketing page, there are three kinds of smartcards you can get - a personal one (with your name + photo), a non-personal one, and a simple rechargable ticket.

With the personal and non-personal cards, you can load different kinds of tickets onto the card. For example, you can buy a set (virtual carnet) of 10 single journeys, and a day pass, and have both on your card. When you touch in at the start of your journey, if you have multiple valid tickets available, you're then prompted to pick which one you want to use. Details and pictures are in French on the Valider avec Pass Pass page.

However, that's the theory.... In practice, today I loaded a one day ticket onto my pass pass card, went to the validator, touched in, and it asked me if I wanted to use one my 10 single tickets, or the day pass. There's no buttons on the validator, it's a touch screen. I dutifully pressed on the screen over the box containing the text "Pass' Journée". Unfortunately, it seems that the screen wasn't well calibrated, as the box 5cm higher up labelled "10 Trajet Unitaire" lit up, and it gave me the big green tick saying I'd used a single journey.

So, in the short term, is there any way to get my journey re-coded to use the day pass, and get the single journey loaded back on? And in the long term, how do I make sure the correct ticket gets picked even if I come across another badly calibrated validator screen?

  • 4
    I'm going to go out on a limb and say the only person that can answer that question is the Lille transport customer service, so you definitely check with them while still there, and then report back as an answer to your own question. As for the bad touch screens, you're inevitably screwed there. :(
    – dlanod
    Apr 29, 2014 at 20:47
  • Excellent question! I am mildly surprised that the act of choosing wasn't followed by a confirmation of choice, allowing you to cancel and reselect. There could be a great concern if a 100EU ticket was accidentally chosen when a 2EU was intended.
    – CGCampbell
    Aug 30, 2014 at 13:06
  • Nope, no confirmation, just a big green tick telling you what had just been picked! Difference was only about €10 between what I used and what I'd meant to, so not the end of the world, but it was annoying. (And being a Sunday, no-one around to speak to about it...)
    – Gagravarr
    Aug 30, 2014 at 13:30
  • There are two web pages that show how to validate : the one you pointed to, and one dedicated to cards with several tickets available : transpole.fr/fr/pass-pass-et-tarifs/…. It seems to involve a post selection validation by exposing the card once again after you select which ticket you want to use. It is not the process you have described. Maybe you didn't validate at all eventually by not confirming.
    – audionuma
    Dec 20, 2014 at 17:29

1 Answer 1


It's very likely that the only recourse you have here is to contact them, give them the time, date and details of what happened, and you may get an apology or some cash back. Maybe.

They're contactable both by phone, and by email on their site:

(+33) 03 20 40 40 40 (local call rate)
Mondays to Fridays, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

What it comes down to is likely a computer error (or possibly user error and you didn't realise, but that seems unlikely given your description). They likely have a contract with the vendor who supplies them, and if enough errors are occurring they will get it replaced, or depending on their agreement, some financial compensation.

What can you do in the future? Not much. It's a computer with limited access. If there's a staff member around, perhaps ask them, but other than that your options are extremely limited.

Compare it to when a vending machine eats your money. Has likely happened to you - it's happened to me on many occasions. There's usually a number you can call, but it comes down to - is it worth the hassle? To me it isn't, but that's based on the price of a bag of chips, not a train ticket - which may be more valuable.

  • I have seen (in Germany, where else?) an automatic photo booth with little forms on hand to post a complaint and ask for compensation in case of problems.
    – Relaxed
    Aug 30, 2014 at 20:57

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