In 2001, Chateauroux Mayor Jean-Francois Mayet made the city’s public transport completely free. Other parts of France had toyed with a ‘social tariff’ system originating in Dunkerque in the 1990s - in Grenoble, for example, the poorest residents are given 95 percent off fares - yet Chateauroux was the first substantial city to fully demonetise its transport network. This led to an increase in rides by 81 percent in the first year, lowering traffic, reducing emissions, and eliminating much of the city’s staffing and ticketing costs. Through increasing a transit tax on local large businesses, the city actually turned a profit on its transit system, with citizens in a time of austerity able to spend their money elsewhere.