Here's what the Paris newspaper Le Parisien says in its section about what to expect this weekend because of the current strikes: on Sunday, « Seules le deux lignes automatiques du métro (1 et 14) circuleront dimanche. Toutes les autres lignes seront fermées. » In English, "Only the two automated metro lines (#1 and #14) will be running. All the other metro lines — 12 or 15 of them — will be closed down." The #1 line runs east-west across the middle of the city, and the #14 runs from the northwest (Gare St-Lazare) to the southeast (Gare de Lyon and on toward the Place d'Italie). Both these "automatic" lines run without drivers, so they are not affected by the subway drivers' strike.
A Paris metro station on a quiet Sunday morning
Subway service has always run on a reduced schedule on Sundays, but I can't ever remember the metro being shut down to this extent, and I've been in France off and on for 50 years now. The "regional express" train line that runs north-south through the city and out to CDG airport will be open, but with only one-third of the normally scheduled trains. Expect all the rail cars to be jammed with people.
A demonstration by striking workers and students in the city of Rouen in June 2003
This turn of phrase I read in Le Parisien, a Paris newspaper, makes me smile: La RATP « invite ses voyageurs à utiliser le réseau de surface », soit les bus et tramways. The RATP is the agency that runs the subways and buses. Aren't they helpful to "invite" their transit users to take the bus instead of attempting to travel by subway? « Le réseau de bus circulera avec un service assuré à 60 % tandis que le service tramway sera quasi-normal. » Sixty percent (the article says 50 percent a little further down) of the buses will be in service today, and the tramway service will be pretty much normal.
|The house as it looked the first time we saw it, in mid-December 2002