April 2, 2013. The first train in the colors of Ouigo leaves the TGV station in Marne-la-Vallée, 20 km east of Paris, towards Marseille.
On board the double-decker train repainted in blue and pink, hundreds of passengers paid barely ten euros to make this journey of 700 km at 300 km/h.
The event caused a stir
in February 2013.
“This is the first time in the world that a rail operator has launched a low-cost service with trains redesigned for the occasion.
[...] No departure envisaged since the capital, to avoid paying the more expensive tolls at the beginning of the station of Lyon.
Ten years and 110 million passengers later, SNCF Voyageurs wanted to celebrate this
and outline its development projects during a press conference on Wednesday 3 May.
The opportunity to review ten figures on the low-cost company, from the number of destinations served to that of the kilometers traveled by a train over a year.
Since its creation, Ouigo has transported 110 million passengers in France.
A growth that has accelerated over the past two years, since the company has welcomed as many travelers during its first eight years of existence as between 2020 and 2022. The "Ouigo lents", set up in April 2022 between Paris , Nantes and Lyon, welcomed 1.3 million travellers.
In Spain, where the SNCF has been established since 2021, Ouigo has already transported 3 million passengers.
Read alsoWhy Ouigo pampers the Spaniards... and not the French
The classic Ouigo Train offer, which uses old Corail cars, was launched in April 2022 between Paris, Nantes and Lyon.
Designed as an “experiment”, it continues at least until mid-2024.
Jean-Marc De Jaeger / Le Figaro
This is the distance traveled each year by a Ouigo train.
It's the equivalent of a round trip from Earth to the Moon and it's twice as much as for a TGV inOui train.
The low-cost subsidiary operates its trains to the maximum and multiplies the rotations during the day.
Maintenance operations take place at night so that the trains are operational from dawn.
Each train has 634 seats.
As the trains very often run in double units (two trains attached to each other), they thus accommodate up to 1,268 passengers, or the equivalent of 5 Airbus A320s.
By comparison, a double-decker TGV inOui train has between 500 and 550 depending on the model, i.e. a 25% lower capacity.
While Ouigo tickets could exceed one hundred euros, making these low-cost trains even more expensive than conventional TGVs, their price was recently capped at €99.
For ten years, the price of a one-way ticket has always remained at €10 for an adult, even if in practice it is very difficult to find one at this price.
Read alsoTrain: these infallible techniques for traveling cheaper
Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Rennes, Strasbourg... Ouigo serves 50 destinations in France.
When it was launched, only outlying stations, such as Marne-la-Vallée or Lyon Saint-Exupéry, were served.
But since 2017, more and more trains leave and arrive from Paris intramural stations.
The operator has just made three lines that had been running in high season up to now, namely Paris-Brest and Paris-La Rochelle since December 2022 and Paris-Perpignan since March 27, 2023. In Spain, Ouigo serves around ten of destinations including Barcelona, Madrid and Alicante.
Read alsoSNCF: the underside of the new “Ouigo lent” train
The new layout of the renovated Ouigo trains expected from 2025. SNCF Voyageurs
This is the number of trains that make up the Ouigo High Speed fleet.
12 additional trains will be deployed from 2025. These will be former TGV inOui trains converted and refurbished during their mid-life operation, which usually takes place after 20 years of circulation.
38 is also the average age of passengers: a quarter of them are under 25, while one in ten is over 60.
This is the median price of a Ouigo ticket.
In other words, one in two passengers paid less than €25 for their ticket in 2022. Despite inflation, Ouigo claims not to have increased its prices in January 2023. The more the train fills up, the higher the prices rise: thus, not far from 15% of passengers pay their ticket at the maximum price of €99.
25 is also the share that Ouigo wants to represent in high-speed rail transport in France by 2025 (compared to 20% currently).
Read alsoParis-Alès with the SNCF: journey into absurdity
When booking, customers can select additional services by selecting the Ouigo Plus pack, charged at €9.
It includes additional luggage, the use of the "Ouifi" and the choice of seat - a way to avoid the middle seat in the rows of three seats!
9 is also the price of the OuigoFlex option, implemented on April 12.
It allows tickets to be exchanged free of charge and indefinitely (with a possible price readjustment), whereas each exchange is normally invoiced at a maximum of €19.
On the other hand, tickets are still non-refundable, even if passengers who can no longer leave can sell them to others with the new OuigoSwap service.
Finally, Ouigo High Speed tickets are available up to 9 months in advance, with sales opening twice a year.
This is when you increase your chances of finding the lowest prices.
Read alsoYou can now resell your Ouigo tickets: what you need to know
Good news for cyclists!
The new trains will have eight spaces for bicycles, or 16 in total for a train in double composition.
The company thus complies with the European regulation which requires the presence of spaces dedicated to bicycles in trains.
Today, only classic Ouigo Trains accept non-dismantled bikes (€10 option).
Impossible to board them in a Ouigo High Speed where only dismantled bikes and placed in a cover are accepted (option of 5 €).
Read alsoTravelling by train with your bike: price, reservation, dimensions... All you need to know
If the parents pay a variable amount depending on the departure date and the time of the reservation, this is not the case for the children.
For children under 12, the price of the ticket is fixed: €5 for all journeys, all year round, with the sole exception of journeys departing from or arriving at Parisian stations within the city walls or lasting more than 2 hours 45 minutes. , for which the price is 8 €.
With this pricing policy, Ouigo wants to encourage departures by families, which represent nearly one in five passengers.
Read alsoTraveling a child alone by train, instructions for use
– In Spain, the SNCF launches a top-of-the-range Ouigo with first class and bar