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LIFE IN PARIS

VIDEO: Paris Metro line halted after man runs on tracks ‘to escape ticket inspectors’

Commuters on the Paris Metro were astonished to see a man sprinting along the railway tracks through a station on Wednesday - reportedly in a bid to escape ticket inspectors.

VIDEO: Paris Metro line halted after man runs on tracks 'to escape ticket inspectors'
Photo: AFP

Traffic was halted on Line 9 of the Metro as the man was seen running through the platform before fleeing into a tunnel.

The lines of the Paris Metro are electrified and, as the numerous signs warn, anyone who goes onto them as at risk of being electrocuted.

This did not appear to deter the man, who was apparently trying to escape from the notoriously strict RATP ticket inspectors.

Shocked passengers posted video of the incident on Twitter with one commenting: “I've seen people fleeing from the inspectors, but this guy!”

 

Because of the risk of electrocution, the RATP transport operators cut the power to the line while the man was found and detained, meaning all trains were halted for around half an hour.

 

The RATP ticket inspectors have a reputation for being uncompromising, and being a hapless tourist who has simply misunderstood the system is no defence against the €35 fines they hand out.

Earlier this year The Local spoke to a Canadian family who were fined a total of €175 after making the fairly common mistake of not realising that a break in a journey requires a new Metro ticket.

Kirisa Gosselin, from Vancourver, said: “We begged for understanding and to just be allowed to purchase five more Metro tickets, to go the two last stops. But no, we ended up paying €175 euros for those two stops. That or risk having the police called, and a stiffer fine given.”

READ ALSO Unkind Paris Metro ticket inspectors ruined our family trip to France'

And it's not just tourists who fall foul of the system – in 2018 a pregnant French woman was fined €60 for walking the wrong way.

In fairness to the RATP police, however, they have their work cut out as fare dodging is rampant in Paris – it is estimated that around seven percent of regular passengers travel without tickets.

 

 

 

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TRAVEL

Striking workers block Paris airport terminal, flights delayed

Striking airport workers have blocked part Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport, with some flights already delayed by at least one hour.

Striking workers block Paris airport terminal, flights delayed
Striking airport workers outside Charles-de-Gaulle airport in Paris. Photo: Geoffroy van der Hasselt | AFP

Last month, trade unions representing workers at the Aéroports de Paris (ADP) – the city’s Charles-de-Gaulle-Roissy and Orly airports – called for a strike between July 1st and July 5th in an ongoing dispute between French airport workers and bosses over contract renegotiations.

A second wave of protests are expected next week, after a strike notice was filed for July 9th.

Tensions mounted on Friday morning as some 400 protesters staged a raucous demonstration at CDG’s terminal 2E, which mostly deals with flights outside the Schengen zone, as police officers looked on.

At Orly airport, meanwhile, some 250 people demonstrated “outside”, while a small group was inside.

The dispute is over a long-term plan by ADP to bring in new work contracts for employees at the airports, which unions say will lower pay, job losses and a reduction in rights and bonuses for employees.

The strike is being jointly called by the CGT, CFE-CGE, Unsa, CFDT and FO unions, who said in a joint press release that the proposals will “definitively remove more than a month’s salary from all employees and force them to accept geographical mobility that will generate additional commuting time”.

Unions say that staff face dismissal if they do not sign the new contracts.

ADP said on Wednesday that it expected ‘slight delays for some flights but no cancellations’ to services – but it urged travellers to follow its social media operations for real-time updates.

On Thursday, the first day of action, 30 percent of flights were delayed between 15 minutes and half-an-hour.

ADP’s CEO Augustin de Romanet had said on Tuesday that ‘everything would be done to ensure no flight is cancelled’. 

ADP reported a loss of €1.17 billion in 2020. 

Stressing that discussions are continuing over the proposed new contracts, the CEO called for “an effort of solidarity, with a red line: no forced layoffs.”

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