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November complications for visitors to France (and not just visitors)

November complications for visitors to France (and not just visitors)

Nov 12th, 2007, 04:18 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 101
Thanks for the update. We are flying in to CDG this coming Monday, November 19th. We are staying off Rue De Hauteville (sort of in the Opera District) and had planned on taking the RER from CDG to Gare Du Nord and walk to our hotel from there. With the impending strike, my alternate plan is to take the Roissybus from CDG. Can anyone give me some insight or tips as to using Roissybus (which is a 45 min to an hour trip)...ie where do you catch it at the airport? how often does it run? Where does it stop in the Opera district? Does Roissybus get overwhelmed during a strike with everyone trying to use it?. How does this compare to a taxi..will a taxi be quicker? If its going to be a nightmare to use Roissybus, maybe its best to cab or have a car waiting...
travelsuper is offline  
Nov 12th, 2007, 06:17 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,652

a post earlier in this thread (about half way up) said that Roissybus didn't run during the last strike-- only the Air France bus did.

When it does run, it stops behind the Garnier opera house.

(I'm arriving the same day as you, but by Thalys train.)
MademoiselleFifi is offline  
Nov 12th, 2007, 10:50 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 210
An update as of Tuesday morning Nov. 13 Paris time... Early indications are that this strike will not be as severe as the last one. Suburban trains will be running on a very limited schedule Wednesday. (Notably the RER B to CDG airport will not be running.) On average there will be 1 in 10 metro trains running; this is likely to be highly variable, with fairly good service on some lines and little or none on others. It's not wonderful, but this is better than what we had during the last strike in October. I will try to supply updated info later today.
mlaffitte is offline  
Nov 15th, 2007, 12:41 AM
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update as of the 15th in the AM. Yesterday seemed almost erie in central Paris, almost no buses and a few people in and out of the metro on the METRO lines that were running. It seemed that everyone expected disruptions and stayed home. As a tourist it was a dolight (albiet a walking one). Police were posed at the Sorbonne anticipating studet actions - no sign of problems although some doors that should be open were shut with signs posted.
seafox is offline  
Nov 15th, 2007, 07:38 AM
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the city seems fully alive today , no busses were to be seen but I understand much of METRO is running
seafox is offline  
Nov 16th, 2007, 08:15 AM
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As I mentioned I'm planning to be there on Thursday, Nov. 22, for a few hours. What's the latest regarding the strikes?

111op is offline  
Nov 16th, 2007, 10:04 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 101
Since we arrive this Monday, I went ahead and booked Bee Shuttle for $40 Euro (2 stops maximum). I don't want to spend the whole flight wondering what we are going to do when we get there if the RER or buses are not running. Its worth the peace of mind. I've read good and bad about Bee Shuttle but I hope ours is good!

111 you might want to check some of the other strike threads which have updates - both sides are talking, 50% are back to work...so things are slowly improving day by day.
travelsuper is offline  
Nov 16th, 2007, 10:09 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 101
This is the latest BBC News update:

French unions to continue strike

Transport workers in France have voted to continue a national strike over the weekend, protesting against President Nicolas Sarkozy's pension reforms.
Most of France's rail network remained disrupted for a third day on Friday.

But there are signs that support for the strike is waning, with increasing numbers of employees returning to work.

Unions have said they are still waiting for an agreement on the conditions under which talks between government, unions and employers can take place.

Labour minister Xavier Bertrand has said talks can begin only when union leaders call off the strike.

The unions want to continue the walkout during any negotiations.

Friday saw a slight increase in the number of trains and metros running but millions of people still faced long delays and struggled to get to and from work, with many resorting to going on foot, cycling or roller-blading along traffic-choked roads.

Only 200 of the usual 700 TGV high-speed trains were running.

Two metro lines in Paris were closed completely, and about one in three buses was running.

Fewer than one third of train drivers took part in the strike on Friday, down from 61.5% in the first full day of walkouts on Wednesday, the state-run SNCF train company said.

'Uncontrolled elements'

The French government says it is ready to begin new negotiations with unions but only when the strike is called off.

"We need a call on the part of the unions in the companies concerned for work to resume so that immediately - I repeat: immediately - tripartite talks can open, talks demanded by those same trade unions," Mr Bertrand told French RTL radio on Friday.

A drop in the number of strikers showed that "there are now more workers who want to go back to work" than those who want to continue the strike, he said.

"All the conditions are in place to allow us to end this strike as soon as possible," Mr Bertrand added.

Early on Friday some strikers prevented trains from leaving Argenteuil train depot, west of Paris, by placing flares and firecrackers on the tracks.

"It's scandalous and absolutely unacceptable," said Guillaume Pepy, executive director of SNCF.

"A number of uncontrolled strikers or elements from outside the company have caused disorder by putting hand flares, firecrackers and detonators that are security devices on the tracks to prevent trains from running."

Sud Rail union confirmed the incident, saying the strikers were targeting a smaller union of independent train drivers who are not taking part in the strike.

"There will be more of these actions, and not only at Argenteuil," warned Dominique Malvaud from Sud Rail.

Public sector perks

The government is facing industrial conflict on several fronts. Students are stepping up protests over university reforms and next week, teachers and civil servants are due to strike over job cuts.

Some French commuters sided with Mr Sarkozy, saying the reforms were needed.

"I work in the private sector here in France, and do not actually benefit from all the wonderful perks that come with a public sector job - 35-hour working weeks, five weeks' paid vacation, early retirement," Kim Marohn told the BBC news website.

But Paris teacher Colette Catrina said she did support the unions.

"The majority of my work colleagues supported the movement because it is at the core of their main worries about pension reforms. They all will be on strike themselves on 24 November to ask for pay rises and protest against reforms which favour wealthy and well-off people," she said.

The strike began on Tuesday night and follows a previous walkout on 18 October.

The last time a French government tried to overhaul "special" pensions was in 1995 and it sparked three weeks of strikes that forced then-President Jacques Chirac to climb down.

But the polls have so far broadly supported Mr Sarkozy, who says France can no longer afford to let some public service employees retire on a full pension as early as 50.
travelsuper is offline  
Nov 16th, 2007, 12:35 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 8,862
Thanks travelsuper.

Can someone comment on availability of taxis? Are they scarce?

Obviously I still prefer RER. I've just a few hours and anything else seems too complicated. But obviously if RER is not running I need a backup plan.

Also should I book museum tickets? I'm thinking of the Arcimboldo show and maybe the Design show at Grand Palais.
111op is offline  
Nov 20th, 2007, 02:53 AM
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Posts: 1,902
Kerouac, I came back from Paris Sunday and just wanted to give you a huge THANK YOU for giving us all a head's up about the transit strikes. Ended up sharing a taxi with a lady returning to Lyon back to CDG early Sunday morning thanks to my hotel.

As for the student riots, I thought the most fascinating part of it was the posters put up all over town. I should've taken photos.
Beatchick is offline  
Nov 20th, 2007, 03:02 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 20
What's wrong with the French, they make such great cheese!
Vannah is offline  
Feb 25th, 2008, 09:22 PM
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Posts: 1,652
Has anyone received a refund for the cancelled POB Nutcracker performances, and how long did it take?
MademoiselleFifi is offline  
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