Yesterday I took a circular walk around Île St Louis, across the Seine, and by the St Michel Metro / RER station. I wanted to get my Navigo Découverte, my Metro / RER pass.
Entering the station, I descended two levels to a set of ticket gates and an information / ticket window. I asked for the Navigo Découverte. They got out the package and started my transaction. The physical pass is €5 and a monthly pass for zones 1 to 5, that is, all zones, is €73. I was getting a monthly pass for April, just a couple of days away. I inserted my credit card into their machine and we all waited. And waited. And waited. Nothing. Another came over and he tried resetting the card processor. We watched its little screen saying reloading and counting up to 100%. But, it just then did it again. And again. After about the 35th reloading attempt, they said there were sorry, but I had to go elsewhere.
I went up one level, found the RER station part, and another information / ticket window. Time to try again. I was first warned that there were only a handful of days left in the week and buying a weekly pass did not make sense. I (re-)explained I wanted the monthly pass for the upcoming month. Ah, that was different. Their card processor worked. I got my package.
The package has an identity card that one personalizes with a photo and your written name. Having read up on the card beforehand, I had the correctly sized picture. After sticking the picture on and writing my name, I peeled the instruction page off of a clear sheet of plastic which folder over and sealed to make the identification information permanent.
The pass itself sits against the identification card and both go into a supplied hard plastic holder. The pass’s number shows through a small rectangular hole in the card right above the number on the card. This makes it easy for someone to verify you hard the right pass with the card.
Now tomorrow I can use the Metro as much as I want. That will enable my across-Paris exploring.