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Old August 3rd, 2007, 04:02 AM   #1
hkskyline
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French Law Guarantees Some Service During Transit Strikes

French parliament passes bill to ensure some public transport during strikes
2 August 2007

PARIS (AP) - France's parliament passed a law Thursday that aimed to guarantee at least some buses and trains would run during transit strikes, partially fulfilling a key campaign promise by President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The law was hotly opposed by union leaders, who insisted it threatens French labor's coveted right to strike and pledged to hold retaliatory walkouts in the fall.

The law requires transit providers to inform users which buses and trains are to run during a strike and requires them to reimburse riders if they fail to adhere to the promised schedule.

It also makes it obligatory for individuals to say whether they plan to strike 48 hours before doing so. The measure -- one of the law's most hotly contested -- aims to end spontaneous strikes that regularly hit public transport, notably following attacks on bus or subway drivers.

In the past, walkouts by transportation workers have brought the country to a near standstill, leaving people without any way to get to or from work -- sometimes for weeks at a time.

During his campaign, Sarkozy, a conservative who took office in May, pledged to guarantee at least three hours of public transportation in the morning and evening rush hours during walkouts.

But despite attempts by conservative lawmakers, the law passed Thursday does not immediately guarantee minimum service on France's public transit.

It requires local authorities and transit providers to define the exact meaning of "minimum service." Negotiations are to be completed by next January -- meaning French commuters could again find themselves stranded if unions make good on promises to strike in the coming months.
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Old August 4th, 2007, 11:36 AM   #2
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Very clever of them to pass it in August, when all possible strikers/unionists are on leave, probably sunbathing on some coastal resort
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Old August 4th, 2007, 11:40 AM   #3
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Exept that strikes only account for 6% of transit disturbances....
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Old August 6th, 2007, 08:05 AM   #4
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I wonder if the unemployment rate of France already drop below to 10%? Last time I heard was the government is trying to do everything its can to drop unemployment. I like the 35 hour per week system they have with several vacations per year . United States should have one. We really need some time offs here.

By the way, we will go to Paris on Spring 2008. I am hoping there are no more dog poops around after that penalty the Government made.
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Old August 7th, 2007, 06:37 PM   #5
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Exept that strikes only account for 6% of transit disturbances....
still a good start.
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Old August 9th, 2007, 05:24 PM   #6
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I wonder if the unemployment rate of France already drop below to 10%? Last time I heard was the government is trying to do everything its can to drop unemployment. I like the 35 hour per week system they have with several vacations per year . United States should have one. We really need some time offs here.

By the way, we will go to Paris on Spring 2008. I am hoping there are no more dog poops around after that penalty the Government made.
What was that penalty about?

I am glad they did it. They need such actions especially in paris where an RER line is on strike every other day( well not that much but still quite a lot).
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Old August 9th, 2007, 05:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
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I wonder if the unemployment rate of France already drop below to 10%?
Yes officially it is to 8 %. but it is probably between 8 and 9%.
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Old August 9th, 2007, 11:12 PM   #8
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I'm glad! That will teach union workers who literally hold transit users hostage, both rich and poor. Plus, it is estimated that strikes result in big money loss for business people travelling to sell or advertize their product, whether by subway, inter-city trains or airplane. Anyway, regardless, it isn't cool to hold people hostage the way they have been doing. They want to strike as they please but if you try to privatize public transit they'll fight till they die. So, REGARDLESS, one is held hostage to their caprice! Good job, Sarkozy!
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Old November 16th, 2007, 05:10 PM   #9
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Unions vote to press on with French transport strike through weekend
16 November 2007

PARIS (AP) - Transport workers voted Friday to press on with a national strike, union officials said, keeping up pressure against President Nicolas Sarkozy's reform plans.

But there were some indications that the walkout was losing a little momentum, even as strikers voted to keep going through the weekend.

Fewer than one-third of train drivers stayed off the job Friday, down from 60 percent in the first full day of walkouts on Wednesday, according to the national rail operator, SNCF.

Several unions for both SNCF and the Paris transit authority RATP agreed to press on with the strike through Monday, labor officials told The Associated Press.

SNCF executive director Guillaume Pepy said Friday that "some uncontrollable strikers -- or outside elements" were blocking trains by lighting fires or setting off firecrackers. He called such unrest "scandalous and absolutely unacceptable."

Unions began the walkout late Tuesday to protest Sarkozy's plans to strip away generous pension benefits for train drivers and some other state-run sectors. Sarkozy's image as a reformer depends on him not caving into the pressure.

The walkout has shaped up as the biggest labor test of Sarkozy's six-month tenure and his pledge to modernize France to better compete in a globalized world economy.

The threat for Sarkozy was that discontent in other areas could combine with the walkout by transportation workers and snowball into a broader protest movement.

Sarkozy has agreed to a leading union's call for negotiations between workers and managers, under government sponsorship. But in a possible new source of tensions, the labor minister said the government would not lead any talks until the strike ends. Unions want to continue the walkout during negotiations.

Many commuters again had to resort to foot, bicycle or roller-skates, or gamble on getting on one of the reduced number of buses, trains or subways operating across the country.

SNCF said about 260 high-speed trains were operating, far fewer than the 650-700 on normal days but up from 150 on Thursday. Highways were only slightly more jammed with traffic than the daily average, the national highway information office said.

Only two subway lines in Paris were closed completely, and about one in three buses were running on average. Some trains were running on four of the five RER commuter rail lines.

The two transport authorities said they would ensure at least partial subway and commuter rail service to Stade de France stadium north of Paris for a friendly soccer match between France and Morocco Friday evening.

Some commuters sided with Sarkozy, saying the reforms are needed, and decried the daily hassles caused by the strike.

"You have to do a lot of walking, spend a lot of time in train stations waiting, and running left and right" to catch trains, said civil servant Pascale Mathieu at Saint-Lazare station in Paris, as he waited for a train to the suburbs. "To avoid being late for work, you have to leave earlier -- it's really troublesome and bothersome."

A student protest over a university reform that allows for private contributions to schools -- in addition to public funding -- and tuition charges has appeared to gather steam, if slowly. The students fear the reform will erode France's guarantee of public education for all.

Late Thursday and early Friday, riot police evicted students who were staging sit-ins at university campuses in the capital and in the cities of Strasbourg, Lyon and Nantes -- all without incident or arrest, National Police spokesman Laurent Ricard said.

Five people were detained by police in a scuffle early Friday at a university in southern Montpellier, he said, without providing further details.

Next week, many student unions plan to line up with hospital workers and school administrators in strikes over Sarkozy's plan to thin the public sector.

----

Associated Press Writers John Leicester and Jamey Keaten contributed to this report.
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Old November 16th, 2007, 05:11 PM   #10
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Parisian commuters get ready to walk, rent bikes with strike halting most French train traffic
13 November 2007

PARIS (AP) - Strikers shut down much of France's national rail service after rush hour Tuesday night, and millions of Paris commuters prepared to go without subways when the city's train crews join the walkout.

People planned to use the capital's new bicycle rental service, share cars or stay home during the Wednesday subway strike. Others said they would walk.

Xavier Basset, an accountant, faced a nearly four-mile walk across Paris to his office. "I'll work on my calves," he said.

Unlike recent limited transportation strikes, rail unions set no time limit for the shutdown called to protest the conservative government's move to eliminate special rules that allow train drivers and certain other public workers to retire early.

President Nicolas Sarkozy's government insists the pension rules are outdated, unfair and too costly. Several opinion surveys suggest Sarkozy has public support. He vowed Tuesday not to give in to trade unions, which have defeated previous government attempts to loosen work rules.

Sarkozy stresses "his determination to carry out this reform" and hopes to implement them quickly, presidential spokesman David Martinon said.

Rail traffic shut down across France late Tuesday, and the SNCF rail network said only 15 percent to 20 percent of trains on major lines would run during the strike. It said traffic would likely be disrupted through the weekend and urged travelers to postpone trips.

With Paris subway workers set to join in, the city's public transit authority, RATP, predicted almost no trains would run on most routes starting Wednesday. Only one line was expected to run normally, as it is automated.

High demand was expected for the more than 10,000 bikes recently installed by city officials at 750 spots across Paris to encourage a reduction in car use. The bikes, which can be left at any of the stations, proved extremely popular during a short transit strike last month, when the number of daily users doubled to 180,000.

Officials said they would deploy 260 workers armed with metal cutters to retrieve bikes from anyone who tried to hog them all day. The bicycles are intended to be used for short trips, and rental prices skyrocket as the clock ticks -- usually enough to deter riders from hoarding bikes, but not on strike days.

Parisians with a spare bicycle or motor scooter were renting them out on a Web site that promised they could "earn money thanks to the strike."

Motorcycle taxis, able to weave through snarled traffic, looked like a good solution. Managers for two motorcycle taxi services said they were completely booked through early Friday. Car shares were another option.

While the transit walkout would have the biggest impact, employees of state-run electricity, gas and other services were expected to join the strike.

Electricity workers said they would cut power to local offices of Sarkozy's conservative UMP party, and they threatened "Robin Hood" operations -- restoring power to households that cannot afford their electricity bills.

The Comedie Francaise theater and Paris' National Opera, whose employees also would be affected by the pension change, canceled Wednesday performances.

Young people also joined the fray, angry over a new law to give public universities the power to raise tuition and accept private donations. Student leaders say that will keep the poor out of college.

As of Tuesday, students at 26 of France's 85 universities had voted to strike, said UNEF, the leading student union.

Students wielding metal bars kept administrators from entering buildings Tuesday at a university in the northwestern city of Rennes, where protests forced a suspension in classes.

In Nanterre, in Paris' western suburbs, riot police fired tear gas at youths and succeeded in opening doors of the university there. But classes remained canceled.

------

Associated Press writers Laurent Pirot, Jean-Marie Godard and Elizabeth Ryan contributed to this report
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Old November 21st, 2007, 07:10 AM   #11
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Paris counters strike with bikes, taxis, and scooters
20 November 2007

LONDON (MarketWatch) -- Residents and tourists in Paris have had to adapt rapidly as a strike by transport workers has cut service on the city's famous Metro subway system, and curtailed much of the bus service.

The strike has begun to bite into France's economy and is spreading to other industries and as well.

But in a country that once sent its soldiers into battle by taxi -- at the battle of the Marne in 1914 -- improvisation is still frequently the name of the game.

For city residents and tourists caught in the economic and political crossfire, a number of alternative forms of transport have emerged.

First, of course, is simply walking. Sidewalks have been crowded with pedestrians making their way to and from the city's major railway stations having either just gotten off, or hoping to board one of the intercity or commuter trains that still operate.

The city's new free bicycle system has also proved popular. The Vélib' system lets users ride for free for the first half hour, and charges a fairly modest rental fee from then on. Riders can pick up the bikes at one location, using a credit card, and drop them off at another.

Another alternative, albeit a relatively expensive one, has been the Batobus, a boat service that runs along the Seine from the Eiffel Tower on the west, to the Jardin des Plantes on the east, making stops at the Louvre, Notre Dame, and other locations in between. The daily fee includes on-off privileges, making it especially useful for tourists.

Many Parisians and some tourists as well, have adopted children's scooters as a means to get around. The "trotinettes" function well on sidewalks along the major boulevards, which are usually smoothly paved. Riders do risk falls however, on older side streets with paving stones, or in the event they overload with backpacks, as one correspondent discovered.

Adding to the confusion and uncertainty of the strike is the fact that some Metro lines have continued to operate, including the automated line that runs beneath the Champs Elysees connecting the Arc de Triomphe, to the Louvre and other key tourist destinations. In addition, a key Metro line linking train stations Gare du Nord and Gare du l'Est with the left bank also has been operating fairly steadily, albeit with packed trains.

When all else fails, the city's taxis remain an option, although waits on taxi ranks can run 15 minutes or longer and the drivers complain that civilians, unused to the city's lively driving habits, can quickly bring traffic to a standstill.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 03:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Paris counters strike with bikes, taxis, and scooters
20 November 2007

including the automated line that runs beneath the Champs Elysees connecting the Arc de Triomphe, to the Louvre and other key tourist destinations.
The line 14 don't run in Champs Elysee and Louvre they confond it with the line 1 wich will become driverless in 2011.

The line 14 run between Saint Lazare, Chatelet, Gare de Lyon, Bercy Bibliothecque francois Mitterant.
Not so interrested for the tourist but very interresting for Parisian.

Paris is not a tourist city, The line 1 have a good frequency because this line link Gare de Lyon at Chatelet and La Defense and the parrallele RER A wich is busier have a very low frequency. It is not due at the Louvre.

It is exactly the same for the line 4.

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Old November 21st, 2007, 04:54 PM   #13
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just fire the bums
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Old August 24th, 2008, 02:40 PM   #14
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FRANCE | Urban Transport Compilation

Here a thread for urban system outside Paris.
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Old August 24th, 2008, 02:58 PM   #15
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Marseille metro

19 km
2 lines
24 stations



Joliette M2








Saint Charles M1 M2









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Old August 24th, 2008, 03:24 PM   #16
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Hey, man! I was begining to wonder where you are. This looks like another intereting thread.

I see Marseille is using the same trains as Lyon.
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Old August 24th, 2008, 03:42 PM   #17
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I was in holiday, I have a life outside SCC.
In fact the design of the train is similar but it is not the same type of train.

Marseille metro is a mix between Paris and Lyon metro

Paris :
Manual door
Dirty
Lacks of information

Lyon :
Design of train and station.

Marseille metro opened in 1977, one year before Lyon metro but Lyon metro is definitively more modern.
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Old August 24th, 2008, 08:05 PM   #18
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I forgot where I found this picture, but I think lyon has the coolest looking light rail. When I visited, I never saw the silver ones though.

I liked how in Marseille they had 4-car trains. Lyon only has 2 or 3-cars.

Is Marseille a lot poorer than France? When I visited, every time I'd exit the subway station, there'd be a group of people begging for my subway ticket (nothing has happened like that to me in Paris or Lyon...)
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Old August 24th, 2008, 11:18 PM   #19
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wow thats awesome a thread of metro and light rail systems outside of paris and France in general thats cool.

more pictures and videos and info about it please.
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Old August 24th, 2008, 11:34 PM   #20
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kub86, yes, it's the poorest "big" city of France, and the one with the most social issues as well (immigration, unemployment..). It's recovering though, the unemployment rate has shrink from 20% to a more reasonable 14% the past ten years, though it can be as high as 40% in the north.
Immigration from poor countries has also been massive in this city, considering its location. I believe something like half of the city has an extra European origin.

I also find it terribly dirty, and some places in the north look like the third world. Beside, the downtown area and old port are nice places to visit.

You can find more facts about Marseille here if you want.
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