Without much warning Paris transit officials shut 13 metro stations in the midst of rush hour as part of the security for the Chinese president’s visit to the capital. Needless to say Paris commuters were not happy.
Just after 9am officials sealed off 13 Metro stations across the city in order to ensure the safety of Chinese President Xi Jinping during his visit to the City of Light.
The stations closed until further notice were: George V, Alma Marceau, Kléber, Ségur, Cambronne, La Motte Picquet Grenelle, Ecole Militaire, Sèvres Lecourbe, Varenne, Solférino, Rue du Bac, Invalides and Assemblée Nationale, French daily Le Parisien reported.
Paris’s transport authority provided almost no advance notice of the closures, and they came in the midst of capital’s notoriously hectic rush hour.
Commuters expressed their anger to APris Metro chiefs RATP through the usual social media channels.
"What is this madness with the Chinese president. Our president is in Paris all year and you don't close the Metro stations," tweeted Loic Jack.
— Loïc Jack B. (@LoicJack) March 27, 2014
Another tweeted his shock at the measures taken by authorities.
"Closing Metro stations at rush hour for the security of the Chinese president. Unbelievable," said Cedric Gentil.
La fermeture des stations de métro aux heures de pointe, pour la sécurité du président Chinois… Hallucinant. 1/2
— Cédric Gentil (@Gentilchanoir) March 27, 2014
One tweeter noted the irony of Paris transport authorities closing Metro stations on a day when pollution levels rose again in the capital.
— Sandrine (@mmjl) March 27, 2014