Monday: Paris Strike Continues; a Run on Public Bikes
It’s Monday, and the transit strike that has crippled Paris’ public transportation continues, affecting residents and tourists alike. Today’s strike update:
On Monday, all Metro lines but one are running. Bloomberg news reports that riders are typically waiting between five minutes and forty-five minutes between trains.
There is no train service between Paris and either Orly or Charles de Gaulle airports. Bus service is running to Orly, but not to CDG.
The much-publicized public bike program launched this summer, Velib, offers commuters an alternative to hitchhiking or walking. However, according to our cycling source in Paris, the bikes are so popular that many would-be riders are showing up to docking stations only to find them empty.
One-third of the high-speed TGV trains running into and out of Paris are running today, while rail service in the rest of the country has been drastically reduced.
Traffic jams were the worst today since the strike started, apparently a result of fed-up commuters shrugging it off and hopping back into their cars. Jams reached 300 kilometers (186 miles) around Paris.
The strike will continue into this week, with union leaders accepting an offer to meet with President Sarkozy on Wednesday. Until then, expect more of the same.