Adjusting Blog COVID-19 France Lyon Patricia Almodovar Public Transit Temple Exchange

French transportation and the ‘pass sanitaire’ 

Something I have learned being in France is the ease of travel. Back at home I am accustomed to driving myself everywhere or when at Temple, walking from place to place. I have taken public transportation every now and then, but definitely not on a daily basis, nor when it comes to traveling and visiting new places. This perspective has completely shifted as I have come to rely on public transportation daily. I find myself checking the TCL app (an application for Lyon’s transportation system’s itineraries and routes) more often than some social media apps! Not only are the transportation systems effective, but they are also affordable. I pay just €25 a month for the student TCL card which allows unlimited rides on all the transportation options, which include the bus, metro, tram, and train. I definitely feel as though I have gotten my money’s worth since I live outside of the city and have to use various modes of transportation everyday.  

Tram Stop at Sciences Po

Nonetheless, there are still a few cons that exist in regards to taking public transportation. First, the buses and trams stop running at 12am, which makes it difficult when I have late-night plans with friends. When this happens the only options are to wait all night and take the late bus, which runs at 5am, or to take an Uber, which is pretty pricey. Also inconvenient are occasional worker strikes. These movements result in a shortage of drivers, which then delays time schedules and even causes some bus/tram lines to not run at all. 

Inside a Tram

 Another thing that is very different from the U.S. is how Covid is being handled as it relates to travel. For instance, the European Union has a digital Covid certificate that facilitates movement and travel within the EU. As an exchange student, I am able to benefit from the digital health pass, so I applied for it back when I was at the airport on a layover to France. Each time I wanted to dine in at a restaurant, the first thing I’d hear was “pass sanitaire” while the worker would pull out a device to begin scanning everyone’s digital health passes. Awaiting an acceptance for my pass, I continuously had to explain that I was an international student awaiting my approval. Thankfully, each time I was able to show my vaccination card and there were no issues, but that did not keep me from worrying about whether or not there would be. Luckily, my passe sanitaire came within the next week, making it much easier for me to just pull out the QR code on my phone and be assured that I was well protected. 

Pass Sanitaire – My EU Digital Covid Certificate (with a sample QR code)

In addition to using public transport to get around Lyon, I have also taken advantage of it to travel to other places in France. Some towns I have visited so far include Grenoble, Vienne, and Annecy — stay tuned for a future post on these trips and what I took away from each!

À bientot,

Patricia Almodovar

Check out Cassandra Lopez’s blog about redefining productivity abroad!

1 comment

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: