FAQ – Frequently asked questions

01
How to pay the toll?

Payment of the toll can be made, as well as in cash (Euros), with bank credit cards (VISA, MASTERCARD, EUROCARD, AMERICAN EXPRESS), with fuel or service cards (DKV, ESSO, EUROTRAFIC, GR, EUROSHELL, RESSA, ROUTEX, UTA) or, for heavy vehicles, with post-invoicing season tickets (Mont Blanc-Frejus interoperable card). Telepass use is not enabled.

02
Is it possible to pay the toll with checks or with "chèques vacance" (French)?

No. The toll can only be paid with cash (Euros) or with the main credit cards. Telepass use is not enabled.

03
How long are return tickets valid for vehicles belonging to classes 1, 2 and 5 and what are the conditions?

The return ticket for vehicles belonging to classes 1, 2 and 5, is valid for 7 days from the date of issue. This ticket is offered with a 75% discount for the return journey, which must be made by 23.59 on the seventh day following the day of issue, without exception (e.g.: one-way on Monday at any time, return by 23.59 on the following Monday). This special discount is used mainly by occasional travellers.

04
How long are returns tickets valid for vehicles belonging to classes 3 and 4 and what are the conditions?

The return ticket for vehicles belonging to classes 3 and 4, is valid for 15 days from the date of issue. This ticket is offered with a discount of 75% for the return journey, which must be made by 23.59 on the fifteenth day following the day of issue, without exception (e.g.: one-way on Monday at any time, return by 23.59 on the following Monday).

05
How long are subscriptions valid for 10 and 20 transits and what are the conditions?

Prepaid subscription cards for 10 or 20 transits for vehicles belonging to classes 1, 2 and 5, are valid for 24 months from the date of purchase (e.g..: when purchased any day in January 2020 it expires at 23.59 on 31 January 2022); each crossing benefits from a discount of about 50% compared to the cost of 5 return tickets for the 10 transits, or of about 65% compared to the cost of 10 return tickets for the 20 transits. This formula is mainly used by residents and by people who habitually frequent the tourist locations adjacent to the tunnel.

06
Where can subscriptions be bought (for 10 or 20 transits)?

Subscriptions are bought at the toll booths at the time of transit. They can be prepaid, even without completing the first transit, by walking to the toll booth on one of the two aprons at the entrances and buying them from the attendant. In both cases, validity begins from the time of purchase.

07
Is it possible to buy a transit pass or a subscription card online (for 10 or 20 transits)?

No. This function will be coming soon.

08
How can subscriptions cards (for 10 or 20 transits) be recharged?

09
After the subscription card has expired Is it possible to recoup transits not made?

No.

10
If the entire subscription card has not been used as the expiry date approaches, what can be done to avoid losing the transits remaining?

If the entire subscription card has not be used as the expiry date approaches, in order not to lose the transits remaining it must be recharged with new transits (10 or 20). The remaining transits and the new transits can therefore be made within 24 months from the day the subscription card was recharged.

11
Can several vehicles pass through at the same time using the same 10 or 20 transits subscription card?

No. For technical reasons, there must be an interval of at least 30 minutes between two transits in the same traffic direction using the same subscription card.

12
If the subscription card is lost, can it be blocked and a duplicate issued?

Yes, by contacting GEIE-TMB customer service (clienti.geietmb@tunnelmb.com).

13
Is it possible to change the subscription card tariff class at the time it is recharged?

No.

14
Why are we asked to listen to the radio in the Mont Blanc Tunnel?

The traffic surveillance operators are able to broadcast information messages live to your FM radio. To receive the messages all you have to do is listen to the radio on one of the 12 frequencies that can be received in the Tunnel. As well as this every 6 minutes messages recorded in 3 languages (Italian, French and English) are sent out reminding you about the safety rules to be observed during transit.

15
What is the maximum speed limit in the Mont-BlancTunnel?

Inside the Tunnel vehicle speed must be between 50 and 70 kilometres/hour. These limits are as prescribed by the Traffic Regulations.

16
How can I be certain to maintain the exact safety distance from the vehicle in front?

Blue lights are mounted on the Tunnel walls every 150 metres. So drivers can judge the distance separating them from the vehicle in front by maintaining a distance more or less the same as the space separating two blue lights. When they pass one of these blue lights it is sufficient to check that the vehicle in front has passed the next blue light.

17
Can vehicles that use LPG fuel pass through the Mont-Blanc Tunnel?

Yes, but they must mention it at the toll point. In this case, the driver is given a label that must be displayed on the windscreen during transit. There is no additional cost.

18
Is it possible to stop in a lay-by in the Tunnel?

There are lay-bys at regular intervals of 600 metres inside the Mont-Blanc Tunnel. These lay-bys are not an invitation to stop without a special reason; on the contrary, they must be used only in emergency situations. In fact, the automatic incident detection system in the Tunnel treats every stopped vehicle as an incident; In this case, an alarm immediately goes off which, in its turn, alerts the incident team.

19
Is it possible to enter the Tunnel with snow chains mounted?

No.

20
Under what conditions can dangerous goods pass through Mont-Blanc Tunnel?

The transit of hazardous goods through the Mont Blanc Tunnel is subject to the conditions and prohibitions set out for category E tunnels by the European Agreement ADR 2009. WARNING: access to the Mont Blanc Tunnel by vehicles that transport goods identified with ONU 2919, 3077, 3082, 3291, 3331, 3359 e 3373, numbers, is not permitted, since transit is forbidden for these goods to travel on the roads that lead to the Tunnel, imposed by the French and Italian Authorities.

21
What must I do if the safety barriers are lowered?

The safety barriers are lowered after the traffic lights are switched to red. So you are obliged to stop! The electronic variable message boards overhead or close to the barriers will inform you about what to do. If the doors of the safe shelters are flashing, if the messages on the electronic boards tell you to, or if the operator asks you to on the radio, make your way to the nearest safe shelter and do not go back into the Tunnel until you are invited to do so. The video telephones inside the safe shelters allow you to contact the operators, who will give you the necessary information about what to do.

22
What must I do if my vehicle has a technical problem?

If your vehicle has a breakdown or a technical problem, try to reach a parking area: there is one every 600m on your right. Park your vehicle and call for assistance using the emergency call post in the safety booth. Be aware that the surveillance system is able to follow your situation at every moment. If your vehicle stops on the carriageway, try to get as close as possible to the edge of the pavement.

23
What happens in the event of a breakdown caused by lack of fuel?

If a vehicle stops for any reason while travelling through the Tunnel, the emergency procedure that is put into effect closes the road and activates intervention by the rescue teams. If the vehicle stops because it has run out of fuel, this is serious negligence on the part of the driver. The driver will be held responsible for the disruption he/she created and must reimburse the cost of the intervention: € 300 for a light vehicle and € 1500 for a heavy vehicle.

24
Is the Mont-Blanc Tunnel open 24 hours a day?

Yes, the Mont-Blanc Tunnel is always open. However, traffic may be interrupted to allow a safety exercise to take place or for maintenance work to be carried out. These interruptions are normally programmed to take place during the night hours. In these cases, the disruptions are announced beforehand via the press, by means of material distributed at the toll, on the Tunnel internet site and on the App TMB Mobility. Also, at certain times of the year, carrying out programmed maintenance work requires alternating one-way traffic to be in force, according to a calendar which is published beforehand. Lastly, application of the safety regulations may cause the traffic surveillance operators to interrupt the traffic flow temporarily, depending on what is happening.

25
Why is there a long queue to the Tunnel in periods of heavy traffic?

To allow vehicles to keep a distance between them of 150 m right from the Tunnel entrance, the toll barriers are timed to let a vehicle pass through about every 7 seconds. So it is not possible to increase the rate of traffic. When the flow is heavy, a queue will naturally form. The surveillance operators can reduce the flow of heavy vehicles by giving instructions to the regulation areas of Passy-Le Fayet and Aosta, but they cannot do anything about the flow of light traffic. The traffic information services are constantly informed about the waiting time. When an unplanned event takes place, for example a vehicle stopping inside the Tunnel, the movement of traffic is immediately suspended and the disturbance that arises from this can be of considerable duration.

26
Sometimes the road is closed because of PIDA. What does it mean?

PIDA is the acronym for Intervention and Avalanche Plan. On the French side the orographic characteristics of the slopes above the Tunnel aprons and access road mean that specific measures must be adopted to prevent the risk of avalanches. These measures consist of freeing the slopes of accumulated unstable snow by shock waves created by controlled explosions. The activation and execution of the PIDA is the responsibility of the Safety Commission of the Municipality of Chamonix. GEIE-TMB makes available resources with regard to consultancy, vehicles and installation techniques. During this operation, which takes about one hour, vehicle transit through the Tunnel and on the access ramps is suspended.

27
Sometimes driving is difficult because of the difference in pressure at the two entrances. What is this due to?

Very often barometric pressures are different on the opposite sides of the mountain. As a consequence, the Tunnel acts like a flue pipe: the current of internal air becomes as strong as the difference in pressure at the two ends of the Tunnel.
Above certain values and where there is smoke, the system regulating the flow of air in the Tunnel may not be able to counteract the speed of the air and thereby prevent the smoke from spreading. It is therefore necessary to reduce traffic for precautionary reasons. It begins with alternate circulation, the ban on transit for heavy vehicles or, in the event of exceptional and extremely rare weather conditions, total closure to traffic.

28
What is the thermographic gateway?

This allows the presence of any overheating on a heavy vehicle to be detected.

29
Can mobile phones be used in the tunnel?

Mobile phones cannot be used in the tunnel. Every 100m emergency call posts are available that allow you to get in touch with a traffic surveillance operator.

30
How much does it cost to tow a vehicle that has broken down?

If a vehicle stops for any reason while travelling through the Tunnel, the emergency procedure that is put into effect closes the road and activates intervention by the rescue teams. If the reason for the stop is serious, the rescue operation and any vehicle towing are completely free of charge. But if the vehicle stops because it has run out of fuel, this is serious negligence on the part of the driver. The driver will be held responsible for the disruption he/she created and must reimburse the cost of the intervention: € 300 for a light vehicle and € 1500 for a heavy vehicle.

31
Why does the windscreen sometimes fog up when entering the Tunnel?

A temperature of about 20 degrees is fairly constant in the Mont-Blanc Tunnel in all seasons. In the winter – when the outside temperature is below zero - the interior is quite warm. Consequently, just a few metres from the entrance, the vehicle windscreen will fog up on the outside because the warm air condenses on the cold glass. Using the wipers briefly is enough to clear the windscreen. However, if the vehicle is covered with snow, Tunnel personnel will ask you to remove it because the internal temperature will cause it to drop off suddenly during the almost 12 km journey through the Tunnel, creating problems for the safety of other users.

32
What is the distance between the Mont-Blanc Tunnel and some of the main towns?

Distance from the Italian tunnel entrance apron to: Courmayeur 5 km – Aosta 42 km – Torino 151 km – Milano 224 km – Roma 760 km / Distance from the French tunnel entrance apron to: Chamonix 5 km – Annecy 102 km – Ginevra 87 km – Lione 222 km – Macon 229 km – Parigi 620 km

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