French strikes LATEST: Transport services improve but travellers face ongoing misery

The ongoing transport strikes in France against the government's pension reforms continued to cause travel headaches on Thursday although there was a slight improvement on the Paris Metro and mainline train services. Here's the latest travel news:

French strikes LATEST: Transport services improve but travellers face ongoing misery
Photo: AFP

The transport strikes in France entered their 29th consecutive day on Thursday – a record for rail strikes in the country. Here's the latest outlook.

READ ALSO: Strikes in France – The crucial dates that will determine what happens next 

In Paris, the automatic Metro lines 1 and 14 were operating as usual. 

For the first time since the strike started nearly all lines were running with limited services during rush hour times, but with several stations closed. Only line 7bis will remain completely shut all day.

  • Line 2 –  Two out of three trains were running between 6.30am to 9.30am and one out of four trains from 4.30pm and 7.30pm.
  • Three out of four Line 3 trains were running at rush hour times (6.30am to 9.30am and from  4.30pm and 7.30pm)
  • Line 4 – Half of usual services were to operate at rush hour times
  • As for line 5, traffic was set to be disrupted with one out of four trains running in the morning and evening between the stops Place d'Italie and Oberkampf and Bobigny and Stalingrad in the north in the evening.
  • Lines 6 and 7 – one out of three trains were set to run during the evening rush hour.
  • Lines 8 and 13 – one out of three trains were to run during the morning and evening rush hour.
  • Lines 9 and 10 – 50 percent of services were to operate during rush hour times
  • Line 11 was to remain closed all afternoon.
  • Line 12 – one out of four trains would run only in the afternoon.

On the RER suburban trains there were fewer services than normal.

Traffic on RER B, which connects Paris to its two airports, was severely disrupted.

On the southern end of the line, one train out of two were running from 6.30am to 9.30am and from 4.30pm to 7.30pm.

Between 9.30am and 4.30pm one out of three trains would be running.

READ ALSO: Defiant French unions vow no surrender in month-long strikes

On the northern end, which leads to the airport Charles de Gaulle, one out of three trains were running, but traffic is interrupted at the Gare du Nord station, meaning passengers had to change trains to head to the airport.

As for the buses on Ile-de-France region, there will be three out of four running all through the day on average. Trams would operate largely as usual. 

There was also a slight improvement in the number of TGVs running, with the SNCF announcing 1 out of 2 TGVs were operating on Thursday.


Three out of 10 Transilien trains which serve the Paris region, five out of 10 TERs and one out of two Intercité trains were running on Thursday.

For those travelling on the Eurostar, traffic is nearly back to normal with nine out of 10 trains running.

The mass transportation strikes have been running in France since December 5th. 

As talks between the government and the unions will continue on January 7th, people depending on French public transport can expect continued problems for the coming days.

Unions have vowed to carry on until the government backdowns.

French workers' unions are striking to protest the government’s proposed pension reform, which they fear will make people work longer and for smaller pension pots.

The government says an overhaul of the country’s complex pension system is desperately needed.

On New Year’s Eve, President Emmanuel Macron announce that he would not back down, but continue in his bid to push the reform through.















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French customs officers strike over job cuts

Customs officers across France will walk out on Thursday in protest at job cuts that unions say will “weaken the customs network”.

French customs officers strike over job cuts

The national strike on Thursday, March 10th is expected to lead to delays at ports, airports and on the Eurostar.

The strike, which will include a rally outside the National Assembly building in Paris, was called by the CFDT-Douane and has the support of other unions. 

A work-to-rule protest over pay and conditions by customs officers in 2019, under the shadow of Brexit, led to delays and disruption at airports, as well as ports including Calais and Dunkirk, and on Eurostar trains.

Unions are calling on the government to axe plans to switch responsibility for import duty collection to the Direction Générale des Finances Publiques by 2024, at the cost of 700 customs’ officer jobs – and, according to strikers, tens of billions of euros to State coffers.

“We are asking for the reforms to be stopped, mainly that of the transfer of taxation, which is disorganising the network with the elimination of nearly a thousand jobs,” CFDT-Douane’s secretary general David-Olivier Caron said.

The planned job cuts come after years of restructuring and streamlining that has seen thousands of positions disappear, the unions say, when customs fraud and smuggling is rising because of a lack of resources.