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04 Dec 2019 | 07:21 AM UTC

France: Nationwide strike to affect all forms of transportation as of December 5

Several trade unions to strike across France on December 5; significant transportation disruptions expected

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transportation
FRA

Event

Several trade unions are calling for an unlimited nationwide general strike starting on Thursday, December 5, to denounce the government's proposed universal pension reform. Related protests have been called in Paris on Thursday, with participants planning to gather at Gare de l'Est at 14:00 (local time) before heading to Place de la Nation via Boulevard de Denain, Boulevard Magenta, Place de la République, and Boulevard Voltaire. Authorities have ordered businesses to close and have prohibited car parking from 07:00 to 20:00 in the affected areas on Thursday.

Parisian public transportation is expected to be significantly impacted on Thursday. Traffic will be halted on metro lines 2, 3, 3bis, 5, 6, 7bis, 8, 10, 11, 12, and 13, while 1 train out of 4 will run on lines 4, 7 and 9 exclusively during rush hour, between 06:30 and 09:30 and between 17:00 and 20:00. Automatic metro lines 1 and 14 should operate normally, however, crowded conditions are expected. Furthermore, only 1 out of 3 buses will circulate. Tramway service will also be similarly impacted; 1 out of 3 trams are expected to operate on lines 1, 2, 3a, 3b, and 5 during rush hour, while 1 tram out of 2 will operate on lines 6, 7, and 8. On the RER suburban train service, 1 train out of 2 is expected on the RER A and 1 out of 3 on the RER B during rush hour only. The RER C, D and E lines will have approximately 2 trains per hour. Up-to-date information on affected metro services can be found on the RATP website here.

In addition, the SNCF rail company announced that only 10 percent of Transilien regional services will run, with, the U and R lines completely halted. Only 3 percent of regional TER services will operate across the country, with many service gaps expected between regions. Replacement bus services will be implemented to resume about a quarter of the usual traffic. On the TGV (high speed train) network, only ten percent of trains will operate across France. As of Wednesday, December 4, it is no longer possible to purchase train tickets for TGV inOui, Ouigo, or Intercités trains for service between Thursday through Sunday, December 8. SNCF stated that up-to-date information on the strike action will be available at 17:00 on each day on its website here.

TGV Lyria announced disruptions to its service between France and Switzerland as of Wednesday. Similar disruptions have been announced on Thalys services between France, Belgium, Netherlands, and Germany as of Wednesday. Eurostar representatives confirmed several cancelations from Thursday through Sunday on services to London, Brussels, Rotterdam, and Amsterdam.

Civil aviation will also be impacted, with 20 percent of flights expected to be canceled on Thursday. Air France announced that 30 percent of its domestic flights and 15 percent of medium-haul flights will be canceled, while EasyJet announced the cancelation of 233 flights on Thursday.

Widespread transportation disruptions (including delays and cancelations, crowded conditions) and increased demand for alternative means of transportation are expected during the strike period. 

Advice

Individuals in France are advised to closely monitor developments to the situation, anticipate significant transportation disruptions, plan alternative routes and additional travel time, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.