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METRO

Opening date for long-delayed extension of Paris Metro line

There will soon be an alternative to Paris' crowded Metro line 13, with the extension of another line into the northern part of the city.

Opening date for long-delayed extension of Paris Metro line
A tunnel boring machine on a line 14 building site. Photo: AFP

The launch date of the extension of Metro line 14 has been postponed twice but this time it's official (apparently).

Valérie Pécresse, president of the regional Île-de-France council, has announced the opening of Metro line 14’s new section for Thursday, December 17th.

The testing of the line is still underway.

“Tomorrow, I will be on line 13 to do the inaugural trips of the first trains on line 14”, Valérie Pécresse told French television on Sunday.

 

Line 14’s current terminus is Saint Lazare, a train station in the North-West of Paris.

The extension will continue to Porte de Saint Ouen, with 4 new stations: Pont Cardinet, Porte de Clichy, Saint Ouen and Mairie de Saint Ouen. 

 

READ ALSO – The grand plans for public transport in Paris in 2020

The project has encountered a few obstacles. There had been an announcement about the opening of the extension for 2017, which had then been postponed to 2019 then 2020 due to various problems.This year, the new section of the line was supposed to open in September.

But the construction work has been interrupted by the lockdown, and later on, by new health rules on the construction sites.

The addition of 4 new stations on line 14 should allow to reduce traffic on 25 percent on line 13. This line is taken by 610,000 passengers every day, which makes it the ‘’most busy line in Île-de-France’’, as Valérie Pécresse said in her announcement on television.

It is part of an ongoing project to extend Metro lines out into Paris' inner suburbs and make them more connected to the city.

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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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