Today's transport strike in France

Oct 17th, 2007, 10:31 PM
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Today's transport strike in France

At 8 am, things are going mostly as expected. Very few trains are running, except for Eurostar and Thalys. On other lines, the situation is from 0% to 10%.

In Paris, the RER A and RER B are closed at the moment. 5 metro lines have enough trains running to make getting around possible. Besides the automated line 14 which has normal service, lines 1 and 4 are running at 50% this morning. Metro stations on non operative lines are closed so that people will not wait for nothing. The situation may change during the day. The tramway lines are currently closed, and there are almost no buses.

3 of the 8 transport unions are pushing for a continued strike, but the main unions are still saying this is a one day affair that that they will meet on Monday the 22nd to consider future action.

In other cities, metro service is normal in Marseille, Lyon and Toulouse.
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Oct 18th, 2007, 02:53 AM
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At midday, it is confirmed that the SNCF strike is the strongest since 1995 with a higher percentage of strikers than in 1995. The situation for trains tomorrow is still unclear and a continuation or not of the strike won't be announced until the end of the day.

The RATP (Paris metro and buses) has announced a continuation of the strike for tomorrow.

Municipal transportation in most of the cities of France is operating at normal levels today -- Paris is the only city with no transportation.
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Oct 18th, 2007, 03:41 AM
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Well done for providing this useful public service, kerouac. I feel sorry for anyone arriving today which probably includes a lot of the rugby crowd.
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Oct 18th, 2007, 03:56 AM
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Also, Velib use is twice the normal rate. Many people reserved last night to use this morning at 6, others paid the rate to keep all night so that they could have a bicycle this morning.
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Oct 18th, 2007, 04:12 AM
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...and what a dumb thing to do! There were plenty of bikes in the stations this morning. At the moment, the center of Paris has a total glut of them. I'll be taking one to go home in a few hours, because most of the metro has shut down again.

Meanwhile, it looks like there will be plenty of SNCF disruptions tomorrow, because even though only a few unions want to continue the strike immediately, one of the ones that does is the train drivers' union. And without people to drive the trains, the other employees won't have much work on their hands, except at the refund department.
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Oct 18th, 2007, 06:04 AM
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thanks for the info kerouac. I have a colleague leaving tonite for her first trip to Paris, so I gave her the info.
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Oct 18th, 2007, 08:51 AM
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At the moment, besides automated line 14 (still 100% normal), line 1 is the only line running, at 25%.

Buses are running at about 10%.

The strike continues in Paris tomorrow.

As for the SNCF, train service leaving Paris will be disrupted for sure, at least until 4 pm. Other regions are variable.

As I have said before, the actual situation is hard to predict ahead of time, because each worker individually decides (or not) to strike, whether or not they belong to a union. So sometimes a union calls for a strike and it completely flops, and there have been other times when the unions decided not to strike, but the workers went out on strike anyway.
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Oct 18th, 2007, 09:16 AM
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If arriving at CDG on Sat. morning 10/20 and strike is still on, how would you suggest getting to our hotel in the 7e? Bus? Taxi? Call hotel to arrange a driver? Hoping it will be over by Sat. and planning on taking a taxi but if traffic is at a stand still would like to have some kind of backup plan.
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Oct 18th, 2007, 09:23 AM
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Today the RER was not running from CDG to Gare du Nord.
The Roissybus was not running from CDG to Opéra.
The Air France buses were running normally (in the traffic jams).
Traffic should not be at a standstill Saturday morning, even if the strike continues.
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Oct 18th, 2007, 09:53 AM
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Thanks so much for the updates. It has been so helpful since there is not alot of info here on the strike.

We arrive at CDG on Saturday morning as well at 8:40am. We were going to take the Roissy bus to Opera but if that's not running the Air France sounds like the only inexpensive backup. We are going to Le Marias, I have only taken the Air France bus to Montparnasse, but does it also stop first at Gare de Lyon?

Also, will it be impossible to catch a cab once in the city if the strike is still on? Are best bets at the taxi stand at the Gare?
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Oct 18th, 2007, 03:10 PM
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It now looks like the trains and Paris metro will be returning to normal by Friday evening, but nothing will be certain until the work day begins.

However, there will probably be a new strike soon -- in a week or two.
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Oct 18th, 2007, 08:51 PM
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Trains running at about 30% this morning on most lines. Still an expected gradual return to normal by tomorrow (Saturday).

The train drivers' union obtained what it wanted, and that makes a big difference.
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Oct 19th, 2007, 08:54 AM
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Frankly, I had metro problems this afternoon. Things were far from normal.

However, for those of you thinking about CDG, it was interesting to note that the CDG-Gare du Nord line was the ONLY line running on the RER B today, whereas yesterday, it was the only RER B lines with 0% service. Go figure.
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Oct 19th, 2007, 09:38 AM
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Kerouac, keep it up. I arrive Tues. a.m. with a TGV ticket to Metz in my pocket for roughly 4 hours after my scheduled arrival. Was already nervous before the strike.
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Oct 19th, 2007, 10:23 AM
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Well, as it turned out, today was almost worse than yesterday: 1) yesterday was more disciplined and the striking workers mostly did what was expected and 2) a lot of people took yesterday off as a precaution, but today they were back in transit trying to get to work. And basically 3) a lot of the strike activity today was unexpected. The Paris metro was a lot worse than planned, as were the suburban commuter lines in Paris. Other regions ranged from 'almost normal' to 'almost zero service'. Only about half of the TGVs operated today, whereas Eurostar and Thalys were just about normal.

I have received an e-mail from the RATP this evening telling me that the Paris metro will be running at about 50% tomorrow, but the buses and tramways should be 'almost normal'. No way of knowing if that will be true.

As for train service, it is considered unwise to predict what tomorrow will bring.
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Oct 19th, 2007, 11:03 AM
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82% of the French public behind the scrapping of Special Priviledges for 500,000 public servants!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7050869.stm

Lines 1 and 4 were working fine today, infact too many trains were following each other too closely. (a minute or two apart)

Line 8, 12 and 14 were a nightmare.

RER A completely down and shut.

Quite enjoyed biking it today, but people I spoke to feel the resentment of being take as hostages. Hopefully Sarko will stick in there.
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Oct 19th, 2007, 11:13 AM
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How does it look for this Sunday? I will be flying in to CDG.? Any idea?
Thanks
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Oct 19th, 2007, 12:05 PM
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<Quite enjoyed biking it today, but people I spoke to feel the resentment of being take as hostages. Hopefully Sarko will stick in there.>

There are many things that can be said about the reasons for this strike, but that is not why I started this thread. Please do not start a debate here.
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Oct 19th, 2007, 12:25 PM
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Well, personally, although it's been a bit of a nail-biter, it's looking good for us. We hold tickets tomorrow (Saturday 20 October, 2007) on the 9866 train from Marseilles to Brussels, and the SNCF web site has listed that as one of the trains that will be running (we board at Avignon, and get off at Charles de Gaulle airport).

The SNCF site, which is encouraging right now, has generally been less than useful. The problem: just when you need it, at a time of service disruption like this strike, it gets overloaded, and is non-responsive. It has a nice search function to allow you to search for any problems with a particular train, but during the strike, it timed out without a reply from the site.

I've been tending on this vacation to wake up very early, which normally does not make me happy. But yesterday morning, I took advantage of being awake at 6am to do a search on the SNCF site, and I got information about my train. By 7:30, everyone else in France was waking up, and the site again became useless, and remained so for the rest of the day.

In case there are some who are wondering, "SNCF" = Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer, the French national railroad system (word for word, the "National Society of the Roads of Iron").

- Larry
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Oct 19th, 2007, 12:48 PM
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This is reminding me of the greve on the day I arrived at CDG from JFK ready to move in for a year's study abroad. And that was way back in 1980!
Some things never change...
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